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Judge doesn’t punish Samsung for press leak in Apple patent case, warns against any other “theatrics or sideshows”

August 3, 2012

The U.S. Apple vs Samsung trial resumed its proceedings today, but before the two parties could go forward with the testimonies of Apple’s top executives Phil Shiller and Scott Forstall, Judge Lucy Koh had to rule on some of the motions filed by the two companies in the previous days.

One of them, filed by Apple, asked the Judge to punish Samsung by ending the lawsuit in Apple’s favor. Samsung’s counsel decided earlier this week to leak certain pieces of evidence that Judge Koh did not allow to be used in the trial to the media. This measure infuriated the Judge and prompted her to officially ask an explanation for what happened.

Samsung’s lead counsel John Quinn explained why he released the documents, saying that they were already part of the public record, that he didn’t act unlawfully and that his actions should not be perceived as trying to influence the jury.

Today, Judge Koh ruled against Apple’s motion to obtain a fast victory and instead decided to interview each juror ahead of the proceedings to ask them whether they have seen the leaked evidence and whether they can still offer an impartial ruling.

All jurors but one said they have not seen any of the reports based on the leaked evidence. Juror number seven saw headlines about the “kitchen table” – a termed derived from the testimony of Apple’s Christopher Stringer and refers to a place where Apple products are reportedly brainstormed – but nothing else.

After establishing that the jurors have not been influenced by the leaked documents, Koh warned both parties that the Court will not stand for any more “theatrics or sideshows” from either party:

“I will not let any theatrics or sideshows distract us from what we’re here to do, which is to fairly and timely decide this case,” she said.

Judge Koh also said that she ‘s annoyed with the current state of objections from both parties, and that from now on all objections will have to be made in front of the jury, on each side’s own time – each side has 25 hours to make its case:

“Some of these objections are ridiculous, they’re five paragraphs long,” Koh said. “If you’re going to do that messy objection, you’re going to do it in front of the jury, and the time clock is going to be ticking.”

The Judge also said that Samsung could use in court Apple research surveys and sales numbers when cross-examining Phil Shiller.

We’ll be back with more juicy details from the testimonies that took place earlier today, so don’t go anywhere.