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Apple vs Samsung jury selection completed in U.S. trial

July 31, 2012

The highly anticipated trial phase in the U.S. legal battle between Apple and Samsung started yesterday and we’re expecting it to last at least four weeks during which we’ll bring you all the important details of this fight between giants.

We have closely followed the Apple vs Samsung conflict, that spans across four continents – there are over 50 cases in 10 countries already – and we know that the U.S. trial is the most important one for both companies.

Jury Selection

Yesterday, the jury of the trial was selected, with Judge Lucy Koh interviewing 74 prospective jurors, among which one Apple and one Google employee were also found.

Looking for the final 10 jurors that will have to unanimously decide on all the patent claims part of the trial, Judge Koh asked for a variety of questions. The Verge details:

Judge Koh asked the candidates a wide range of questions, from employment and financial background information, to if the jurors had read any books that could impact their feelings about the two companies. Walter Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs was cited by several prospective jurors; when the Apple employee was asked if the book had altered his feelings about the company, he replied simply, “that book did not change any opinions I already had”.
Koh also took the unusual step of asking what type of smartphone, tablet, and computer each of the individuals used.

What’s interesting is that around a third of those questioned said they own feature phones, with plenty of others not owning a cell phone. But most people owned at least one Apple or Samsung device, which goes to show how popular the two brands are in the States. Moreover, when asked about browsing habits, most people said that Google “was one of their primary uses for the web,” while one person did say that “[He or she] Yahoo a lot.”

Each party was allowed to dismiss four jurors without question, and, unsurprisingly, the Apple and Google employees did not make the cut – even though the Apple employee was dismissed earlier than the Google team member, as the judge found that person still suitable to perform the job without prejudice. Apple however made sure the Google employee was not found among the last 10.

Finally, the jury in the Apple vs Samsung case has been completed: “made up of seven men and three women of varying backgrounds, levels of expertise and personal technological inclinations.”

Opening Statements

Next up, we’re going to see the opening statements of each party, with Apple expected to call upon its first witnesses. What’s worth pointing out at this time is that Judge Koh overruled on a Samsung objection regarding Apple’s mention and showing of Steve Jobs during Apple’s opening presentation:

Samsung’s counsel said it feared raising Jobs would turn the trial into a “popularity contest”, but Koh overruled the objection; the fate of the company’s own presentation slides will be decided in a hearing tomorrow morning.

During the pre-trial phase of the case, the same Judge ruled that Samsung can’t bring up Jobs’s “thermonuclear war” on Android quotes, as the case is not about Jobs.

However, Apple intends to show various images that include Jobs and are relevant to Apple’s patent claims. Judge Koh found those images to be “relevant to Apple’s iPhone design patent and trade dress claims and [are] not unduly prejudicial.” The images in question show Jobs at MacWorld 2007 announcing the iPhone, in 2010 showing the iPad, but also highlight an exhibition dedicated to Jobs by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

We’ll be back with more Apple vs Samsung tidbits in the following days, throughout the trial.