Korean giant wants retrial
A Californian jury foreman in the Apple versus Samsung patents trial could find himself back in the spotlight amid new allegations that he unfairly misled others deciding the case.
Since Judge Lucy Koh awarded Apple more than $1bn in damages last month, Samsung has bitterly contested the outcome which could also see a sales ban slapped on its US sales of smartphones and tablets.
Last week the Korean electronics giant claimed jurors had improperly relied on “outside information” not presented at the trial, but didn’t go into specifics. But according to a new CNET report, it is the influence of foreman Velvin Hogan – a patents expert – on his fellow jurors that Samsung is unhappy about.
The controversial and hard-fought case was heard just 10 miles from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters with jurors also including people who had worked at Intel and AT&T. But afterwards Hogan denied there had been any “home court” advantage for Apple.
Hogan, who is in his fifties, admitted after the trial that he had used his expertise in patents to help his fellow jurors decide what constituted prior art in intellectual property cases, even though he had been instructed beforehand only to make decisions based solely on the law as put before the court, not his own experience.
After the trial Hogan also ceded that his eight other fellow jurors had initially leant towards Samsung but in the end two pieces of evidence proved crucial – minutes of a meeting between Google and Samsung in Seoul where Korean executives were warned to amend their tablet designs because they were too close to Apple’s, and Samsung’s own internal emails suggesting the company’s phone designs needed to move closer to those of their Californian rival’s.
Hogan, who has kept a low profile since last month’s court hearing, has already stated he thought he would be dismissed from the jury because he had a tech patent in his name.
Samsung, meanwhile, is now demanding a retrial with attorneys listing a series of legal precedents including ones that courts in California must follow. In particular they relate to cases where juror misconduct prompted a new hearing.
One document seen by CNET shows Samsung indicating its demand for a retrial will probably subject “all of the jurors to extra-judicial scrutiny and public criticism which they may find unwelcome and intrusive” with both sides “ordered to have no further contact with any of the jurors.”