Apple Vs. Samsung Jury Members Interviewed

Apple vs Samsung

The 9-member jury of the landmark Apple vs. Samsung trial announced their verdict on Friday. They found Samsung had wilfully infringed on 6 of Apple’s patents and ordered the Korean company to pay over $1 billion in damages to Apple.

Reuters and CNet have interviewed two jury members, who give a glimpse of what happened inside the jury room of one of the most closely watched patent trials in years.

Reuters spoke to jury foreman Velvin Hogan, who said that Apple’s argument about the need to protect innovation were persuasive and they were ‘absolutely clear’ that the infringement was purposeful after the video testimony by Samsung executives.

Hogan however said that they felt $2.5 billion that Apple was seeking was “extraordinarily high” as it was unclear  whether Apple would have been able to sell more iPhones due to the supply constraints it was facing.

“We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist,” Hogan said. “We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable.”

It is speculated that jury members may have leaned on Hogan, who is an engineer and has a patent to his name.

Meanwhile, CNet interviewed Manuel llagan – another member of the jury.

“We found for Apple because of the evidence they presented,” Ilagan said. “It was clear there was infringement.”

Asked to point to some of the more compelling evidence Ilagan said:

“Well, there were several. The e-mails that went back and forth from Samsung execs about the Apple features that they should incorporate into their devices was pretty damning to me. And also, on the last day, [Apple] showed the pictures of the phones that Samsung made before the iPhone came out and ones that they made after the iPhone came out. Some of the Samsung executives they presented on video [testimony] from Korea — I thought they were dodging the questions. They didn’t answer one of them. They didn’t help their cause.” 

IIagan told CNet that the jury took 21 hours to reach the verdict. But both Ilagan and Hogan reiterated that the decision was rushed and they deliberated over the decision and it helped to have members who had engineering and legal experience. CNet also points out:

Another sign that the jury wasn’t just checking off Apple boxes on the jury form in an attempt to get home was that the group denied some of Apple claims. They found that Samsung infringed Apple’s utility and design patents with some but not all of the accused Samsung products.

Jury members also concluded that Samsung had violated Apple’s trade dress for the iPhone but decided that Samsung had not violated Apple’s unregistered trade dress claims regarding the iPad. 

Ilagan concluded by saying:

“I’m sure Samsung can recover and do their own designs. There are other ways to design a phone. What was happening was that the appearance [of Samsung’s phone] was their downfall. You copied the appearance…. Nokia is still selling phones. BlackBerry is selling phones. Those phones aren’t infringing. There are alternatives out there.” 

The next step would be a preliminary hearing on injunctions, as the jury has found that many of Samsung’s phones infringe on Apple patents, which could ultimately lead to sales ban in the U.S.

Apple has to file its request for injunction by August 27th and Samsung will have two weeks to respond to it, with the actual hearing on September 20th.

Meanwhile, Samsung will ask Judge Koh to throw out the verdict and if that doesn’t happen then it will take the matter to the appeals court as it has already said that the verdict was not the “final word” in the case or in courts around the world.

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