Samsung calls for re-trial in patent dispute with Apple

By Graeme Burton
25 Sep 2012 View Comments

Samsung has filed for a re-trial in its patent dispute with Apple, claiming misconduct by members of the jury in the original trial.

Apple had won a sweeping victory in the earlier trial in August, during which the jury took less than three days to find in favour of Apple on all but one count of patent infringement by Apple – but threw out all of Samsung's counter-claims.

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While Samsung's court filing remains partially redacted, it indicates that its argument that the case should be re-tried will hinge on interviews with jurors following the conclusion of the trial. In particular, head juror Velvin Hogan, who is also a patent holder, erroneously suggested after the trial that the prior art presented by Samsung was not valid.

Samsung will no doubt argue that as a patent holder himself who claimed to understand the system, he exercised a disproportionate influence over the rest of the jury and misinterpreted key items of law and evidence.

The unredacted parts of the filing also argue that "no reasonable jury" could have come to the verdict that it did based on the evidence that was presented during the trial.

It has also brought up the inconsistency in the jury's decision over one particular patent and how their decision applied to different Samsung phones. "A new trial is necessary due to the inconsistencies in the jury's verdict, including what it saw as an unclear process by which the court ascertained the damages figure, as well as inconsistent findings," argues Samsung's filing.

It adds: "A new trial is also necessary due to inconsistencies in the jury's verdict on the '915 patent. The jury found that the Ace, Intercept and Replenish devices do not infringe the '915 patent but the remainder of the accused devices do. Those verdicts are irreconcilably inconsistent."

Outside of the US, Apple has not enjoyed such sweeping success in its series of intellectual property infringement lawsuits against Samsung as it did in California.

Earlier this week, a court in Mannheim, Germany, decided in favour of Samsung and Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, in Apple's claim that the two companies had infringed its "touch event" patent. This patent covers the way in which a device reacts to one or more fingertip touches on its display, in a similar fashion to the "slide to unlock" and "two-finger zoom" patents at the heart of the US dispute.

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