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Samsung scores victory against Apple, WSJ unveils Jurors 'Final Exam' in the trial

August 20, 2012

Apple’s and Samsung’s lawyers on Tuesday will hold their closing arguments in the patent-based trial the tech world is following anxiously these days, the U.S. Apple vs Samsung battle part of a wordwide-fought war for intellectual supremacy, but also for market share and crates of gold.

After that’s done, the nine-member jury will start deliberating on the various patent claims each party is asserting against the other, provided that the third court-ordered settlement negotiation is, yet again, unsuccessful.

We have already shown you what a jury instruction looks like, and today we have more details of what the jury will have to go through

Samsung scores victory against Apple

FOSS Patents reveals that Judge Lucy Koh decided to modify the “adverse inference” verdict issued for the jury in the Apple vs Samsung case by Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal before the lawsuit started. According to that order, the jury was to be instructed that Samsung purposely destroyed evidence (email exchanges between execs that got purged thanks to an automation deletion system in place at Samsung) that could have been used by Apple in court.

What’s the modification you ask? Well the Judge will instruct the jury that Apple did the same thing, which is what Samsung’s counsel fought for a few days ago:

Here’s what the court intends to say about Samsung (theoretically, this could still change after the parties’ high-priority objections and a Monday hearing):
“Samsung Electronics Company has failed to preserve evidence for Apple’s use in this litigation after Samsung Electronics Company’s duty to preserve arose. Whether this fact is important to you in reaching a verdict in this case is for you to decide.”
And the same thing about Apple:
“Apple has failed to preserve evidence for Samsung’s use in this litigation after Apple’s duty to preserve arose. Whether this fact is important to you in reaching a verdict in this case is for you to decide.”
As a result, the jury will not consider Samsung less trustworthy than Apple, which would have been the case if Judge Grewal’s decisions to give such an instruction only against Samsung but not against Apple had been upheld.

Koh’s verdict on this matter will definitely help Samsung in the case, but it’s not nearly enough to win it – and Apple made a compelling case against the Android maker in the past few weeks.

WSJ unveils Jurors “Final Exam” in the trial

However, from the jury’s perspective, the “adverse inference” instructions against both companies are the least of its worries. The nine people selected to tell the U.S. who’s right and who’s wrong in the Apple vs Samusng trial will have a very tough job ahead deciding on what device copied what feature of what other device and what patent was infringed – in case that happened. And if it did happen was it willful or unwillful? And if it was willful patent infringement, did it happen on a Monday?

Seriously though, both Apple and Samsung have some very complex forms for the jury, which will have to decide on a per device per patent claim basis whether any party copied the other’s patents, whether that happened willingly or unwillingly, or whether there was no copying of any kind.

The jury will then also award damages for past infringements, if any are found, in the same form.

The Wall Street Journal presented both Apple’s and Samsung’s proposed jury forms and in case you are interested in such documents, you can check them both out below.

Apple has a 10-page document versus Samsung’s 18-page similar proposed document, and you’ll quickly notice they do look like complex school tests which could prove to be difficult for tech-savvy individuals such as ourselves that have been covering tech and mobile-related stuff for years. That makes the verdict in the case even more interesting – but one thing is certain, the jury has the work cut out for them.

Oh, and the nine members have to be unanimous on each and every single claim, so chances are that by the end of deliberation they’ll become experts in Apple, and most importantly Samsung devices – there are plenty of Android handsets entered into evidence even though many differently-named devices are pretty much similar, such is the case for Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 versions sold in the USA.

We’ll be back with more details from the trial once we have more information in the following days.