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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, December 7, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Juror Bias Fears Plague Apple-Samsung Fight

SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) - Apple and Samsung exchanged accusations and denied any knowledge of a jury foreman's potential misconduct in their patent infringement odyssey.

A federal jury awarded Apple $1 billion in August, finding that Samsung "slavishly copied" elements of the iPhone and iPad for its line of Galaxy smartphones and tablets. After the trial, however, impartiality concerns arose after jury foreman Velvin Hogan told reporters he had been sued by - and sued - Samsung partner Seagate.

A partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the same firm representing Samsung in their dispute with Apple, had even represented the juror in his lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh asked potential jurors during the selection process whether they had ever been involved in litigation. Hogan indicated that he had been involved in a case with a former partner, but did not mention Seagate. Koh did not ask for details, and Hogan says he did nothing wrong.

But both Apple and Samsung have spent the entire case making mountains out of molehills, and Samsung demanded in October that Apple disclose how and when it learned of Hogan's past.

For its part, Samsung claimed it never knew about the Hogan-Seagate legal tangle until after the verdict.

In a reply last week, Apple lawyer Mark Selwyn told Samsung that "what Apple knew and when regarding Mr. Hogan's lawsuit with Seagate nearly two decades ago is irrelevant to any issue raised by Samsung's post-trial motions." Selwyn is an attorney with WilmerHale.

"Michael Jacobs and I surveyed the litigation teams who have worked on this case at Morrison & Foerster and WilmerHale (including every attorney at Morrison & Foerster and WilmerHale who has a current appearance in this case on behalf of Apple) and the in-house litigation team within Apple," Selwyn continued. "We have not identified any attorney or other member of the litigation teams who was aware that Mr. Hogan had been a party to lawsuits involving Seagate until after the conclusion of trial, when Samsung raised the matter in connection with its post-trial motions."

"Publicly available records" led Apple lawyers to discover, after jury selection, that Hogan had filed for bankruptcy, Selwyn admitted.

But no one from either WilmerHale or Morrison & Foerster looked at the records until Samsung included them in its summary judgment request after the trial, he added.

The next hearing in the fracas is set for Dec. 6.

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