Last month we reported that Samsung was claiming that due to misconduct on the part of the jury foreman in the Apple vs Samsung case, the case should be thrown out. Apple has filed its official response with the court, claiming that if Samsung had an issue with the jury, they should have brought it up before the hearing began.
After Apple won a patent dispute against Samsung, leaving Samsung to pay just over $1 billion to Apple, Samsung claimed that jury foreman Velvin Hogan was biased against Samsung for a number of reasons. First, Hogan didn’t mention a 1993 bankruptcy filing. Second, Hogan failed to disclose the fact that he was sued by Seagate, his former employer.
That doesn’t sound like much, except that Samsung is Seagate’s largest single shareholder. It also turns out that Hogan’s bankruptcy came as a direct result of the Seagate suit. Additionally, while Hogan’s prior experience with patents was part of why he was selected for the jury, his opinions on patents could have lead him to a biased viewpoint. Hogan said that the court only requires potential jurors to mention litigation within the past 10 years, so he wasn’t required to disclose any of the matters mentioned.
Why Apple Says it Doesn’t Matter
The above claims from Samsung may all be legitimate, but that isn’t what Apple is arguing. Apple’s response is mainly that if Samsung had wanted to investigate Hogan for possible bias, the time to do that was before the trial had started. Apple is saying that Samsung’s right to investigate such issues was waived because it is possible or even likely that Samsung was aware of Hogan’s past, but declined to investigate further until after it had lost the case.
Ultimately, the decision of whether Samsung’s claims are acted upon or not rests with Judge Lucy Koh. No matter what is decided, it is likely that this is all going to get more complicated before it is resolved.
Do you think that Hogan was indeed biased against Samsung? Could this just be a last ditch attempt to get the case thrown out of court?