Apple vs. Samsung juror: Knew after first day that Samsung had wronged Apple

Apple vs. Samsung juror: Knew after first day that Samsung had wronged Apple

Manuel Ilagan, one of the jurors in the landmark U.S. Apple vs. Samsung trial, which resulted in a sweeping $1 billion victory for Apple yesterday, has revealed that they, the jury, knew after the first day that Samsung had wronged Apple. The revelation comes as Ilagan began speaking to CNET's Greg Sandoval about what was going through the jury's mind during the trial and the deliberation that followed.

Well, there were several [pieces of compelling evidence]. The e-mails that went back and forth from Samsung execs about the Apple features that they should incorporate into their devices was pretty damning to me. And also on the last day they showed the pictures of the phones that Samsung made before the iPhone came out and ones that they made after iPhone came out. Some of the Samsung executives they presented on video from Korea, I thought they were dodging the questions. They didn't answer one of them. They didn't help their cause.

The jury not only found Samsung in violation of several Apple patents, but in willful violation, which could potential increase damages in the post-trial phase that follows. Samsung will try to get the decision reversed or the damages lowered, Apple will try to get Samsung devices banned and the damages as much as trebled in some areas.

While a jury in one case, in one jurisdiction can't be extrapolated into the larger, world wide Apple vs. Samsung patent dispute, the narrative Apple was able to tell, the momentum given to them by the victory, and what Ilagan is revealing about this jury's take on the strength of Apple's case should be carefully considered by all parties going forward.

CNET's interview with Manuel Ilagan is ongoing. You can follow along via the link below.

Source: CNET

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Apple vs. Samsung juror: Knew after first day that Samsung had wronged Apple


Reading this, I'm siding with Apple. If Samsung's Device's natural evolution went similar to Apple's, then yes. But with these emails, and Samsung's unwillingness to talk, I feel Apple was right.

Apple has insane patent ideas, as in saying "A tap is a zero length swipe" but still, this is willful copying according to those emails.

Hey Rene, I'd love to hear your take on this quote By Jury member Ilagan about Velvin Hogan, Patent Owner.

--"According to Ilagan, jury foreman Velvin Hogan helped make the decision process easier for the jury, imparting his wisdom as a patent owner. "After that it was easier."

--"He (Illagan) says the jury were "debating heavily" on the first day of deliberation — in particular when it came to the bounce back and pinch-to-zoom patents."--

--"I was thinking about the patents, and thought, 'If this were my patent, could I defend it?' " Hogan recalled. "Once I answered that question as yes, it changed how I looked at things."--

--""We felt like we were 100 percent fair, but we wanted something more than a slap on the wrist."--

Doesnt it seem a bit like a Jury of One? In such a technical case full of complicated and foreign ideas to most (Patents, FRAND, Competition) then it seems extremely odd to have 3weeks of information get decided on within 48hrs. So it seems like Velvin Hogan really put himself in the position to dictate what people should say rather than deliberate it so I’m not sure if he overstepped his role or if this is simply how every jury trial goes.

It seems that having a patent owner on the jury is like having OJ on a murder trial. Samsung should’ve dismissed him during Jury selection because his role as foreman most likely influenced the entire verdict and gave a gigantic reason for an appeal.

I disagree with what i think is your main point: "having a patent owner on the jury is like having OJ on a murder trial". It is not easy to understand how patents work, and having someone with experience can help clarify what can seem unnecessarily complicated. Indeed, it is important to avoid simply reacting on a gut level to perceived similarities and differences in the products in this case. The case is about patent infringement, and you have to look at what the specific patent language says, and how well the ideas behind the dispute (appearance, icons, gestures, overall functionality) are represented in that language, and at the Samsung devices that are claimed to infringe.

By way of background, I too am a patent owner, and I have to say that I despise patent language because intellectual property attorneys make it so arcane that it seems to be deliberately obfuscatory. Like that last sentence, which just means lawyers make it complicated on purpose, as though they WANT infringement cases to go to court so that they can make more money prosecuting them.

Anyway, I think that having a patent owner on the jury made the jury much more competent, and in no way implies bias. Patent owners are not all morally bankrupt; those owners who actually did invent something have a legal right to protect their invention from thieves and copycats. I think it is obvious that Samsung copied, but I have no idea whether Apple's patents are written well enough (and early enough) to legally protect their invention from free copying. There is another aspect to the case: if Samsung is found to have willfully infringed, they are subject to triple damages. The jury decided on the amount of damages, and there is another phase where the willfulness issue will be decided.

Do I think Samsung copied iPhone in its first iterations of the galaxy line? Yes
But I still think the damages awarded were too much. Too much. Considering the jury also dismissed FRAND licenses, which Apple has flatly refused to pay.
I think this sets a very bad precedence for Android OEM's in general, since this means that Apple will be more aggressive towards everyone.
Again on FRAND, isn't it the same issue that made Motorola/Google bear arms and take them to court? Apple should learn to pay what it owes.
And as an outsider looking in, the USA needs to fix it's patent system.

Actually, the patents Motorola is using in their new case against Apple are similar in type to those Apple used in this case (not FRAND)...

That's my understanding as well. Moto has some FRAND, but also some proprietary patents to litigate. Proprietary would be apples-to-apples.

Apple didn't refuse to license Samsung's FRAND patents, as far as I know. Samsung wanted a cross-license as part of the deal, which they're not entitled to. FRAND means fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory. It doesn't mean extort proprietary patents under threat of standards-essential patents.

But still, we all have to agree, the amount of money awarded to Apple was too much!! A billion? In my opinion, I thought it would go the South Korean way where both parties were awarded damages

Samsung isn't some garage operation. A billion dollars to get a headstart to becoming the world's largest smartphone manufacturer is a bargain.

Extort is an absurdly loaded word. Cross-licensing is a standard part of most patent deals, FRAND or otherwise. Samsung has every right to seek to negotiate their inclusion in the deal with Apple. Doing so is neither fair nor unreasonable; given that most (if not all) members of the 3G consortium cross-license patents as part of their participation, it can hardly be considered discriminatory, either. Apple, for their part, has every right to insist on an all-cash deal if they value their patents more highly.

Apple has not refused to license, but to date they have not paid, either. This is not entirely their fault, as Samsung has undoubtedly not demanded full payment because they are still holding out hope they can get Apple to throw some patents in. At some point, Apple is going to have to pay 2-3% royalties to Samsung for use of these patents, or some lesser amount (free-1%?) plus a few patents. It is not mafioso behavior; it is a pure business negotiation.

That wouldn't change the need to award damages then. It just wouldn't be as large of damages as a proprietary patent (though the FRAND patents in most case are on real technology and not simple concepts that would be implemented in five different ways).

Ahhh, the comment areas in blogs are on fire today with rabid Fandroids. I have a real hard time believing these people are actually being serious with some of their comments... and have to wonder if they have ever understood the word hypocrite.

Why does a person's attachment to their device turn them into such a monster? Brain off, keyboard on.. lets get to trollin' I guess.

There are people who stare the obvious in the face and still find a reason to twist reality. Its worse than sports! People actually believe Apple was the only one using their patents. I have read hundreds that now assume our legal system is BS and the jury was bought off.. yet they feel the actions by the Korean courts were perfect.

If you don't get upset that these people are your fellow human beings, you have to laugh at them. Many still throw out the iSheep and Fanboy thing without a thought on how bad their own fanboyism is showing.

I wonder how far this will go. I need to stop reading comment areas I guess... now when I see someone with an Android phone I immediately assume they are dumb... though I realize the worst of them are the uber techies who make up probably .00001% of the smartphone buying population.

Or the Android user likes a phone that looks like what they want it to look like, rather than what Apple wants it to look like.

As an argument, that makes no sense. Chevy can't make cars identical to Porsche just because their customers want them.

I was with you rightt till your last paragraph, assuming everyone with an android device is dumb is quite fanboyish/troll statement, makes me "wonder if [you] have ever understood the word hypocrite?" Those kind of statements are childish.

Samsung honestly copied the iPhone initially with their older deviecs and its no surprise they lost. I'm looking forward to seeing real innovative products from samsung. No one can deny the beast phone the Samsung galaxy S iii is and it does have a list of nifty features. People have switched from their iPhone 4 and 4s to the SGSiii and like it better than their iPhones it comes down to preference.

Its going to be very interesting to see what the official final look and specs of the new iPhone will be and what the differences will be in terms of software and hardware, its propsed to be thinner with a larger screen. Apple changed the game before and continues to be a trailblazing company with innovative ideas. I'm a little unclear why they changed their mind about 7" tablets since they really shot down the idea before but a 4" screen will be very appealing on the new phone.

And its also going to be interesting to see what, believe-it-or-not, BlackBerry 10 is going to be like, all I've seen so far is crazy screen res., highest html5 test scores, and the new OS ability to read a large amount of different code. Apps can be ported very very easily and it runs "android apps better than android." Be real its not too little too late, the Bold 9900 is a good smartphone and has impressive updates from their previous OS (5, 6) but it comes short of the spectactular UI of the higher end android devices and iPhone OS's. RIM has one opportuinity to make the introduction of BB10 smartphones impressionable.

The industry changes quickly but its good for the consumers to have better choices. To point back to the OP innovation can be inspired from anywhere but copying is imitation and "imitation is the best form of flattery." Even though I'm poking fun at hypocracy, imitation to a certain degree is justifyable in a minor sense but blatent copying is offensive, Samsung really should have made the right changes to avoid this complete mess.

Some of the patents granted to companies are ridiculous. Sorry long post

Before Samsung even needs to appeal, these jury comments are giving Samsung ample ammunition to file a Rule 50 challenge [ ] that the jury was not behaving reasonably. In a separate interview, the jury foreman [ ] seems to tell a different story of the deliberations than Ilagan. He also said the jury "wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist" to Samsung, which would suggest the jury either did not read or ignored Judge Koh's instructions (repeated twice, in sec 35 and 53) that damages are purely to compensate losses and not to punish the infringer. That, combined with the inconsistencies in the jury's first set of answers -- awarding damages for products they deemed not infringing -- would suggest the jury might have been playing a little fast and loose with both instructions and damages, giving Samsung room to try and throw the case out.

That is not to say Samsung would *win* such a motion, but there seems ample grounds here for them to try.

--"He also said the jury "wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist" to Samsung, which would suggest the jury either did not read or ignored Judge Koh's instructions (repeated twice, in sec 35 and 53) that damages are purely to compensate losses and not to punish the infringer."--

That's a very good point. it does seem like decisions were made prior to deliberations and that a vendetta was in action based on how quickly they got to a decision. I'm feeling that Velvin Hogan (Patent Holder, Juror, Jury Foreman) had heavily pushed his opinions on everyone else rather than allowed them to have a debate about it.

I'm not saying Apple should have won or lost. I'm saying that an overly influential juror is the only explanation on how so many individual infringements could be unanimously shot down in such a small amount of time. My mom is a brilliant woman, but if she was confronted with a situation like this that is over her head she would easily trust a fellow jurors opinion over some lawyer for a multi billion dollar company.

Given that this whole case was never about the money but more about sending a message to Samsung and the other phone manufacturers, it would be great if Apple would give most or all of the damages awarded to charity. They don't need the money and it would really help to prove the point that it was never about that.

Before going on a typically long rant, let me state that even the most pro-Samsung observers have to concede that Samsung has been trying to ape Apple's trade dress. (They are getting away with the Galaxy Nexus and S3.) However, the jury's behavior seems ripe for appeal. Some of these thoughts are from the groklaw article DM52 linked, and some are simple observations. (Disclaimer: I am not a Lawyer)

1) Illgan's interview suggests they glossed over discussion of prior art -- something central to Samsung's defense -- because it was "bogging them down," and that they relied heavily on Hogan's experience with his own patent to get through elements quickly. Hogan's patent [ ] seems to be essentially for a DVR with add-on storage, filed 4 years after patents from TiVO and others on related DVR components, and makes no such reference to their 4-year old patents (or three year old on-the-market products) as relevant. In his interview with the SJ Merc, Hogan said he approached Apple's validity claims as "If this were my patent, could I defend it? -- Once I answered that question as yes, it changed how I looked at things." [ ] Since I am not a lawyer, I am not sure how much of this is admissible in forthcoming arguments, but, given the jury has stated they skipped much of the discussion of prior art, deferring to Hogan's patent experience, which by definition exists outside of the facts of the case. Moreover, Hogan's patent experience seems...questionable with regard to prior art, so Samsung would seem to have some meat to chew on.

2) The speed of the deliberations. The jury deliberated for 21 hours on 700 questions. If you assume the filled out the first question the moment they entered the room, and took no time out for bathroom breaks, requesting things of the bailiff, rest, or to read a single line of Judge Koh's 109-page instructions, simple math means they averaged one question every 1 minute and 48 seconds. While Hogan's comments about "sending a message" suggests they did not read the judge's instructions, I still find it hard to believe they could come up with solid decisions, much less make calculations as to damages, on each product in that amount of time -- unless they had begun to make those decisions beforehand.

3) While speed itself is probably not a guarantee of inappropriate behavior, the errors along with it suggest the jury did not take adequate time considering the case. The jury, for example, ruled the Samsung Intercept was worth $2 million dollars in damages, even though they had earlier ruled it did not infringe anything. (Numerous errors like these were why the damages award was adjusted after initial reporting.) If they jury cannot keep track of their own decisions from point to point, how can one believe any basis of their calculations?

4) I think one part of the jury's decision was a genuine desire to help Samsung, but, again, it skirts the law. The Epic 4G [ ] was found to infringe Apple's design patents to the tune of $130,180,894, despite the fact that it has a big logo, hardware buttons, and hardware keyboard. The Galaxy Tab 10.1, which arguably started the whole mess, was found not to be infringing (though was found to be damaging, another error from #3), despite being one heckuva lot more like an iPad that the 4G was like any model iPhone, ever. This suggests to me that the jury, rather than considering just the facts, wanted to slap Samsung down for past behaviors, but leave them relatively unencumbered to do things in the future as long as they work around Apple -- which might laudable as a point of principle, but not something a jury is allowed to do, and seems like a valid point of challenge. (And, now that I think about it, one that could backfire on Samsung, badly.)