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Apple vs. Samsung jury foreman speaks

Vel Hogan, the jury foreman in the U.S. Apple vs Samsung patent case, spoke to Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television following the $1 billion dollar verdict in Apple's favor.

Hogan says that while for some on the jury it was boring, for him it was exciting, He admits to some confusing on the part of some jurors, but said they came up with a process that resolved what they agreed on quickly, then came back to disputed areas later. Interestingly, Hogan also says he was initially leaning towards Samsung before an "aha!" moment changed everything and removed concerns about prior art. A patent holder himself, he decided he could defend it if it was his patent, and then managed to explain it, and convince his fellow jurors.

Contrary to reports saying the jury didn't read all the jury instructions, Hogan said the judge read every one of them to the jury before closing arguments. Hogan also said the jury kept them open and consulted them continuously while weighing each patent. According to Hogan, the form the judge provided broke things down in such a way that it facilitated a relatively fast deliberation process.

As to a previous statement from Hogan that the jury had tried, inappropriately, to be punitive, Hogan tried to re-contextualize that somewhat as making a point about protecting intellectual property rights in the U.S. A meeting where Google demanded that Samsung make their devices less like Apple-like was compelling to Hogan, as were internal memos where Samsung compared themselves to Apple, and said they needed to move closer to Apple. Hogan said they unnecessarily crossed the line. Nokia, RIM, and Motorola, he said, were examples of phones that might seem Apple-like but aren't.

Hogan said he doesn't own an iPhone and deliberately doesn't own any Apple products as he's "a PC". His wife does have a Samsung feature phone. He also denied Apple had any home-field advantage, and said that the Android operating system itself didn't infringe (which contrasts the jury verdict for the Nexus S phone, which was pure Android, and found to infringe...) Hogan said he wasn't originally sure design patents were reasonable, but that this case helped sway him.

Also, neither he nor the jury, he said, knew the judge could still impose triple damages for areas where Samsung willfully infringed.

So, does listening to Hogan make you think the jury reached a deliberate, proper verdict, or does it raise any red flags?

Source: Bloomberg Television

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I didn't know the galaxy s was a vanilla android experience... I thought that was the first iteration of touchwhiz?
  • Nexus S, sorry, fixed.
  • Not trying to correct you again, but the 8 devices apple is seeking ban on are Galaxy S 4G
    Galaxy S2 AT&T
    Galaxy S2 Skyrocket
    Galaxy S2 T-Mobile
    Galaxy S2 Epic 4G
    Galaxy S Showcase
    Droid Charge
    Galaxy Prevail
    That's according to you and android central. Was it supposed to be 9, because the Nexus s is not included in this list.
  • The ban request list is not the same as the much longer list of devices that were found to be infringing.
  • I want him to keep talking just like he's doing. With his statements & other jurors are actually making a strong case for Samsung on appeal.
  • Yeah, I didn't think it was a great interview, but what did he say that makes you think there's any legal grounds to nullify or substantially alter the jury verdict?
  • Here's my thinking. The more the jury comes out & talks after the fact, the more insight we get into their deliberations & possible preconceptions. I think the golden rule should be to let the verdict speak for itself & leave it at that. The legal process will go forward without the jury adding to the possible complications that could come back to haunt the court. I served on a jury last yr in my state of NC on a drunk driving case & I was elected forman much to my surprise (I guess because I showed up with a pen & notepad & was dressed professionally?). After our deliberations & the verdict was done we were instructed by the judge not to talk openly about our process to anyone like media or other legal people because it could give grounds for appeal & possibly lead the jury itself to be impeached for misconduct. Note it was a drunk driving case & in a different state so the legal requirements may be different as well. But from that experience I come down on the side of the jurors should be quiet about what they did & how they did it. It reeks of searching for 15 minutes of fame to me. I also want to stress I'm not on Samsung's or Apple's side in this matter. My problems with Apple I've made most on iMore well aware of & none of them have to do with lawsuits. As I mentioned before this is billion dollar boardrooms fighting with each other. This verdict holds little sway in my life since I'm not on the hook for the fine if it stands. I use Apple & Samsung products so let them fight it out for my next purchase. The post trial conduct of some of these jurors on the other hand, is quite possibly going to prolong this even more. And that is what needs to stop. I appreciate your response & the chance to reply. Thx Rene.
  • I didn't like hearing how the foreman would educate other confused jurors on patent issues (based on his experience in owning one..hardly something that qualifies Hogan as an expert). The whole stretch from 1:22 to 3:00 minute mark was a bit weird. He had his "aha" moment watching tv at home? And this helped explain patent prosecution and prior art to fellow confused jurors? From Manuel Ilagan (one of the jurors): "It didn't dawn on us [that we agreed that Samsung had infringed] on the first day," Ilagan said. "We were debating heavily, especially about the patents on bounce-back and pinch-to-zoom. Apple said they owned patents, but we were debating about the prior art [about similar technology that Samsung said existed before the iPhone debuted]. [Velvin] Hogan was jury foreman. He had experience. He owned patents he took us through his experience. After that it was easier. After we debated that first patent -- what was prior art --because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art." "In fact we skipped that one," Ilagan continued, "so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down."
  • Yeah from that juror & the other one who's talked they seem to imply Mr Hogan as the dominant personality in the deliberations. My experience was just the opposite. I simply waned everyone to discuss the case & evidence we heard at trial & come to a consensus as a group of 12 sitting in judgement. I wasn't there in the deliberations nor was anybody else. But I speculate with the best of them & my suspicion is Mr Hogan sort of took control & ran with it.
  • I doubt the Judge will overturn or even substantially alter the verdict, because Judges historically defer to juries unless there is some gross procedural error in the courtroom. However: 1) By both accounts, Hogan was a dominant personality, and his "aha" moment that enabled the jury to skip discussion of prior art to avoid being "bogged down" was that he decided that if Apple's patents were his own, he could defend them. Considering that half of Samsung's arguments were on patent invalidity, it should take a rather rock-solid chain of logic to dismiss them so completely. Further considering Hogan's own patent is for a DVR with removable media slots, filed 4 years after TiVO hit the market (and 5 years after their patents) without making any mention of them in the prior art or reference sections, that seems...unlikely. [ link to his patent: ] It also seems that he is bringing in materials not relevant to the case as a basis for his judgement, and his influencing of other jurors. The most favorable thing (to Apple, and to Hogan) in this chain is that Samsung screwed up royally even allowing him on the jury. 2) The "Sending a Message" comment does seem to indicate ignoring section 35 and 53 of Judge Koh's instructions. His subsequent clarifications seem like backtracking after realizing he said something wrong -- at least, that is how Samsung will read it. 3) As noted in an earlier post, assuming the jurors never stretched or went to the bathroom, they spent an average of 1 minute, 48 seconds on each question. (21 hours/700 questions) That is scarcely enough time to perform a thorough examination of the exhibits, much less perform damage calculations. It would seem especially impossible to do so while consulting instructions "continuously" -- unless they had decided and/or begun this phase beforehand. 4) The internal consistency of the verdicts also call that into question. There were numerous instances where damages were awarded for products not deemed infringing. (This is why the damages were reduced.) If the jury cannot keep their own decisions internally consistent, it should call into question their entire methodology. At the very least, it means they did *not* spend enough time in deliberations. At worst, it means they were using little better than a dartboard. The truth is somewhere in between -- but it is a truth that demands answers. 5) The infringement decisions themselves also seem...curious, at best. The Galaxy Tab -- the single device Judge Koh deemed a likely enough infringing product to issue a preliminary injunction, was found not to have infringed (although they awarded damages for it, see #4, above), while a phone with a different shape, size, and profile than the iPhone 3G(S) -- the Epic 4G, which *had a collapsible hardware keyboard, for Pete's sake* was judged to have violated Apple's design patents to the tune of $130 million dollars (~8% of all damages). Even after granting the validity of Apple's patents, it seems odd that the jury could come to one-the-face-of-it wrong conclusions on both fronts, whether they took 1 minute 48 seconds or longer. Certainly the verdict did not indicate their rationale, and neither has any subsequent statement. But I do not think Judge Koh will set aside any part of the jury's verdict. She knows this case is destined for appeal regardless, and that the validity of the patents will be challenged anew, regardless of whether there were errors or not, but simply because validity *can* be challenged anew at each phase of the process.
  • you forgot to mention that he and his wife are now sleeping in seperate rooms.
  • Rene, I haven't been following this that closely, but wasn't there someone that said they were convinced from day 1 that Samsung was wrong? If true, who was it? Was it this guy? Also, if they really did consult the instructions that much, where did they find the time to properly consider everything given the number of items to be covered and the relatively short amount of time? Seems like they only had maybe a couple of minutes per issue (give or take). Lastly, he mentioned coming up with 14% as the magic number. When in the process was that done? Was it AFTER they had gone through everything and decided Samsung was guilty or before? And how much time was spent on that (again, given the short process)?
  • I stopped the video when her childlike enthusiasm bubbled into her first question: "What was it like? Was it exciting..." His response combined with her question established a tone that immediately repelled me. Before submitting this comment, I replayed the video to confirm my thoughts and he seemed more professional than she did. That helped. I'll probably finish it at some point. I wish someone else had gotten to the foreman before we did.
  • Is it possible they came to a mostly right verdict through a weird and off-putting process? Based on the evidence we've seen, it does seem like Samsung crossed the line into illegal copying, and did so deliberately, and gained market advantage by doing it. This feels like Samsung ran a red light and got pulled over and ticketed, but the cop was really goofy about it.
  • I want to stress again the verdict doesn't bother me now or when it was announced. I was taken aback at how quickly they got there sure. So was everybody else too. I'm bothered by the conduct of some of these jurors post trial, in particular the foreman. I'm sure most will remember a little trial called OJ Simpson vs The State of California in the mid 90s? Several jurors actually wrote books about 'their experience & how the trial changed their lives'. Are you kidding me? That trial & subsequent others have turned jury service into a celebrity seeking gab fest in the USA. Jury service is supposed to be the most basic way we serve our fellow citizens next to voting. Go ahead & play the odds now on when the inevitable book deals may start surrounding this trial & it's outcomes. Mark it down the jury will feature prominently in those offers. It's disheartening & sickening.
  • Quick verdicts usually just mean that the evidence was clear and overwhelming. The jury didn't have to spend a lot of time to come to a unanimous decision.
  • The entire point of the court system is to provide "due process" not "mostly-right-verdict through a weird and off-putting process."
  • He appears to be a man who thinks he is smarter than he actually is when it comes to the law. I have no doubt that Samsung did some things wrong, but there are too many inconsistencies with the verdict to think that it was reached in a logical manner and wasn't decided upon by emotion. Apple's narrative was better than Samsung's and that's why they won so overwhelmingly. I would be very surprised if some of this is not overturned in appeals.
  • So how much does Apple owe Xerox for the operating system?
  • Apple made a deal with Xerox, at the time. Please respond.
  • Hogan's logic doesn't wash. He said that because the Apple functionality would not run on the prior art processor and the prior art would not run on the Apple processor, prior art did not apply. By that genius logic, the fact that the Samsung functionality will not run on the Apple processor invalidates Apple's claims to prior art, or patent infringement.
    Hey. If it doesn't run on the same processor, it's not the same thing... Wow. Appeals court? Yeah. This is going there.
  • OK. I have an iPhone 4s. I have an iPad 3 (New iPad). I have two Apple TV's.
    All of that said, Hogan is CLUELESS. Holy CRAP! I think the patent system is inherently screwed up and MUST be torn apart and rebuilt. This case is a primary reason. This guy said that he disagreed with Samsung's statement that the jury upheld a patent on a recatngle with rounded corners. His reason? Because they had a patent on the presentation of a rectangle with rounded corners. WHAT!? That's insane! I am utterly amazed with this guy's ability to talk himself in circles. He's clueless.
    Now, does Apple have a unique product? Yes.
    Did Samsung copy them too closely on icons and some functionality? Yes.
    But Apple iPhone: 3.5" screen. Single, physical front button. App tray screen only.
    Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy S II: 4+" screen, Multiple capacative buttons only, or mutiple capacative and one physical button. Home screens with functional widgets that are presented (dressed) before app tray screens.
    Yep. This goes to appeal.
  • After seeing this, like others, I see this going to appeal. While one could argue that Samsung's e-mails make it apparent that they copied some elements of Apple's tech, a patent on a rectangular shape with round corners is BS. That existed long before the iPhone in Several Palm handhelds, as well as the Handspring Visor. But the most disturbing thing of all is this dominant clueless buffoon pretty much convincing everyone else to award Apple the win and then trip himself and the whole process up trying to get his 15 minutes of fame with this nonsense. This video alone, is grounds for appeal.
  • Another rather large logical inconsistency revealed around the 3 minute mark. Hogan says he did not consider Apple violating Samsung's 460 patent because: "The software on the Apple side could not be placed into the processor on the prior art and vice versa. That means they are not interchangeable. That changed everything right there." The software on Samsung's phones could not be placed into the processors Apple runs, and vice-versa. Yet, somehow Samsung is violating Apple's patents, and not vice-versa. Yes, Samsung could recompile their software to run on Apple's processors, but the same applies for Apple. For Hogan's logic to hold, Samsung's 460 patent (virtual scroll keys to browse a photo library) must somehow only be tied to a specific processor architecture, but Apple's 915 patent (using multiple fingers to scroll) must be applicable across any processors. For the record, both patents are horses***, but the jury at least has to apply horses*** principles equally.
  • Perhaps the US needs to find another way of deciding complex corporate civil cases. We're not talking about whether an individual committed a crime, we're talking multi-layered, complex issues. Just seems like it needs some expert decision making to me.
  • I agree with Some Random Bloke. Hey, why not have the guys who grant patents in the first place determine if one is infringed! Oh wait... :( Guess that would only make matters worse....