Apple celebrated its $1.05 billion award in a case it won against Samsung in August for patent infringement of its iPhone, but Samsung filed a new motion on Tuesday asking for a new trial because it alleges that the jury foreman in the previous case lied and obfuscated personal details that would have thrown him off the jury.
A hidden agenda?
In the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit, jury foreman Velvin Hogan evidently had a lot to say during jury deliberations and instructed jury members in the finer points of patent law and issues. But what wasn’t disclosed before the trial by Hogan was that he was sued by Seagate, a disk drive manufacturer, for breach of contract in 1993. Six months later he filed for bankruptcy.
Connecting the dots
When potential jurors were vetted for the trial, they were specifically asked whether they had been involved in any lawsuits. Hogan listed one but failed to disclose his run-in with Seagate.
According to Samsung, it has “a significant strategic relationship” with Seagate and is its largest shareholder in the company. Hogan’s omission of his lawsuit with Seagate brings up questions of serious misconduct and his role in unfairly swaying the jury to its unbelievably short one-day decision against Samsung.
Hogan says that omitting the details about the Seagate lawsuit were irrelevant because the case was over 10 years old and he and the jury members were instructed to only disclose lawsuit activity within the past 10 years.
“Had I been asked an open-ended question with no time constraint, of course I would’ve disclosed that.”
However, according to jury transcripts, Lucy Koh, the federal judge in charge of the case, mentioned nothing about a 10-year period at all and stated to potential jury members:
“Have you or a family member or someone very close to you ever been involved in a lawsuit, either as a plaintiff, a defendant, or as a witness?”
Rush to judgement
Hogan was instrumental in giving instructions to jury members about patent law, according to his own experiences. But Samsung states that much of what he said to the jury was “incorrect and extraneous” and “had no place in the jury room.”
Samsung believes that Hogan already had a biased agenda because of his previous negative involvement with the Seagate/Samsung connection.
It is expected that Judge Lucy Koh will come to a decision on the motion before December.
Via The Register UK