Samsung takes aim at Apple patent trial juror

By Graeme Burton
05 Oct 2012 View Comments
The iPhone 4v and the Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Samsung's re-filed appeal in its intellectual property infringement law suit against Apple has confirmed that an attack on the probity of the jury foreman will spearhead the company's case.

Further reading

In it, Samsung rejects all of Apple's claims and argues that a mistrial should be called because Velvin Hogan, the jury foreman, failed to disclose relevant law suits he had been involved in, and had misled the rest of the jury in their deliberations.

Hogan, in pre-trial vetting - called voir dire - did not disclose a court case he was involved in with a former employer, Seagate Technology, which led to his filing for personal bankruptcy six months later. The filing implies, but does not explicitly state, that Hogan sought not to disclose that dispute because Samsung is Seagate's largest shareholder and, hence, wanted to punish Samsung.

"Samsung has a substantial strategic relationship with Seagate, which culminated last year in the publicised sale of a division to Seagate in a deal worth $1.375bn [£bn], making Samsung the single largest direct shareholder of Seagate. The attorney who sued Mr Hogan on Seagate's behalf is the husband of a Quinn Emanuel partner [the law firm representing Samsung]," states the filing.

It continues: "Mr Hogan's failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in questioning and that would have triggered a motion to strike for cause or a peremptory strike. Moreover, Mr Hogan's public statements suggest that he failed to answer the Court's question truthfully ‘in order to secure a seat on the jury'."

Citing case law, Samsung claims that in such cases bias ought to be presumed.

Samsung also pointed to other inconsistencies between how Hogan answered questions at this stage of the trial and his subsequent claims in the media afterwards. Pre-trial, "Hogan remained silent when asked if he had ‘strong feelings or strong opinions about either the United States patent system or intellectual property laws'."

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