Apple vs Samsung verdict: members of the jury share details about $1 billion ruling

August 27, 2012
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Late on Friday the jury in the U.S. Apple vs Samsung trial revealed its findings in the case, and awarded a huge win to Apple, with the iPhone maker winning on almost on counts. Consequently, the jury said Samsung owes Apple just over $1 billion in damages.

We’ve already seen reactions from both Apple and Samsung, but also from Google, and we’ve seen the immediate effects the verdict had on both companies’ traded stock. We’re probably going to see both companies file various motions and try to overturn certain areas of the verdict in the day to come – yes, even Apple will file such motions as the jury found that the Galaxy Tab tablets don’t infringe on the iPad’s trade dress – but in the mean time let’s see what members of the jury had to say about their findings.

The foreman speaks out

First off, we have Velvin Hogan, a 67-year old engineer that also has a patent registered in his name, and who was chosen as foreman of the jury, probably due to his patent-related expertise. It’s also worth mentioning that from the nine members of the jury, others also had technical expertise that helped them reach a verdict so fast – just three days – after closing arguments.

In an interview with Reuters, Hogan said that Apple’s arguments “were persuasive in the jury room” and that Samsung’s execs that testified over video “made it ‘absolutely’ clear” that Samsung’s was a willful infringement.

“We didn’t want to give carte blanche to a company, by any name, to infringe someone else’s intellectual property,” Hogan told Reuters a day after the verdict.

However, Hogan said Apple’s damages demand of up to $2.75 billion were “extraordinarily high,” partly because it was unclear whether Apple had enough component supply to sell more phones even if it had wanted to.

“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.”

After finding that Apple’s were valid, the jury looked at every Samsung device separately in order to determine whether these devices were infringing on the patents in play:

“We didn’t just go into a room and start pitching cards into a hat,” he said.

“All of us feel we were fair, that we can stand by our verdict and that we have a clear conscience in that we were totally not biased one way or another,” Hogan said.

They knew from the first day

CNET scored an exclusive interview with another member of the jury, Manuel Ilagan, who revealed that the jury knew “Samsung had wronged Apple” after the first day of deliberations, and, while there were various heated debates before reaching the verdict, the jury could only find in Apple’s favor.

Ilagan was pretty familiar with some of the technical aspects of the trial as he holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and used to worked as a systems engineer for Western Electronic and as an applications engineer for Stanford Telecom. In what follows, you’ll see quite a few of his quotes which are quite revealing for the entire deliberation process the jury went through – and Ilagan was apparently ready to talk about various aspects of his juror job:

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

“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.”

“It didn’t dawn on us [that we agreed that Samsung had infringed] on the first day,” Ilagan said. “We were debating heavily, especially about the patents on bounce-back and pinch-to-zoom. Apple said they owned patents, but we were debating about the prior art [about similar technology that Samsung said existed before the iPhone debuted]. [Velvin] Hogan was jury foreman. He had experience. He owned patents himself…so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier. After we debated that first patent — what was prior art –because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art.”

“In fact we skipped that one,” Ilagan continued, “so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down.”

According to Ilagan, the decision was not hurried, even if the jury managed to come out with a verdict after only 21 hours of deliberations:

“We weren’t impatient,” Ilagan said. “We wanted to do the right thing, and not skip any evidence. I think we were thorough.”

“Once you determine that Samsung violated the patents,” Ilagan said, “it’s easy to just go down those different [Samsung] products, because it was all the same. Like the trade dress — once you determine Samsung violated the trade dress, the flat screen with the bezel…then you go down the products to see if it had a bezel. But we took our time. We didn’t rush. We had a debate before we made a decision. Sometimes it was getting heated.”

Ilagan said: “We were debating the unregistered trade dress claims. That took a while because some of the guys wanted to give [Apple] protection to round corners, the icons, and rectangles, but they were not registered. So, some of the jurors said ‘Why are we playing patent office? We’re not the patent office. It’s not even registered.’ And some of the jurors, when you look at the combination of those features, said it looks like an Apple. But we didn’t want to shut out Samsung from the market because we thought ‘OK, well, if Apple had tried to get a patent for all that stuff and didn’t, now they wanted us to be the ones to get it for them. We didn’t want to do that.”

“We weren’t going for Apple,” Ilagan said. “We were going by the judge’s instructions on how we should go about it, and we stuck to that. We weren’t thinking Apple or Samsung.”

“I realized that’s a big deal if Samsung can’t sell those phones,” Ilagan said. “But 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.”

Two other jurors in the trial had significant expertise from working for companies such as Intel or AT&T that helped the group out during deliberations. One of them, an AT&T project manager, helped out with adding up damages, Ilagan revealed.

We’ll certainly hear more details from the jury in the following days, as their verdict is contested by various parties that question the speediness of the deliberations, but also certain aspects related to the verdict form, and we have already shown you that there were some mistakes in that form, made both by the jury, but also by the entity that drafted the final version of the form.

Comments

  • Alan

    The more the Jury talks, the more they help Samsung with their appeal:
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012082510525390

  • KagakuGakusei

    I don’t see it, I really don’t see it. I think this is some bull. First of all the samsung phone is not to scale, secondly, that is the app drawer and not the home screen (which is the consumers first view), thirdly, the overall design looks nothing like the iphone, there are three buttons and one, though inspired by apples home button, is differentiated enough to be unique. I agree that the phone and contact icons look completely lifted, but that is all. I think software patents are bogus and whatever component patents were involved, both companies use enough of each others that they can call it even.

    I really think there is some cultural bias going on here (i don’t want to call it racism, but…), if this were between two American companies I don’t think the verdict would be the same.

    Thanks idiots for rewarded apple for being shitheads.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=678419250 Rodrigo Stücker

      more like an industrial protectionism…the veredict was entirely based in the fact that apple is an american company.

    • Jamie Cottrell

      anyway, find an old nokia and take a look at some icons like messaging, they look very similar to both samsungs and apples

  • APSFlorida

    The most dangerous thing in the world is a jury. Note that an engineer who hold a patent knows dangerously little more than a house wife with regard to the technicalities of patent law.
    I designed tablets in the early 2000′s and NOTHING APPLE MANAGED TO GET PATENTED was not already obvious to “one skilled in the art”.
    Bad legal work by Samsung’s attorneys… Most attorneys are incompetent unless they are flooded with money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/emakumba Eli Makumba

    the pinch feature has been there before the iPhone hasn’t it? I’ve been seeing in in laptop mousepads. Yes Nokia and BB are still producing their devices, but Samsung was targeted because they are the major threat, remember Apple were outsold by them in 2011.

  • Apple Juror Moron

    The following TED video illustrates pinch to zoom prior art:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UcKqyn-gUbY

    If there is valid prior art, a patent should never stand , unless you can secure a jury of morons. I would suggest a patent is fraudulent If there is valid prior art.

    There is a ton of examples of rectangular prior art:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JBEtPQDQNcI