updated 07:10 pm EDT, Thu July 12, 2012
Samsung asking 700 questions, Apple 49
Late Wednesday afternoon, Apple and Samsung filed their prospective juror screening questions for their US District Court patent dispute scheduled for the end of this month. People selected from the jury pool to serve on the Apple and Samsung jury will have to answer 700 questions put forth by Samsung, and 49 by Apple, unless Judge Lucy Koh orders some narrowing. Samsung's questionnaire spans 40 pages, and Apple's covers six. The discrepancy in the size of the questionnaires may be an attempt by Samsung to bewilder potential jurors who lack strong technical abilities, or could be a simple attempt to delay the trial further -- behavior the company has already been punished for engaging in.
Samsung clearly wants to omit Apple users, with three of its proposed questions relating to ownership or use of Apple products. Samsung is also concerned about potential juror bias towards Asian companies, and the possibility that people may want to protect a primarily US-based company during a time of recession. Question five of the jury questionnaire asks "Do you think many Asian companies steal what others have created and sell products based on copied innovation?" Question six asks if jurors had been negatively impacted by the economic downturn.
Apple has questions about the general impression of the dispute that people has generated from media coverage of the event. Also, candidates views on the US patent system are queried. The first two questions on Apple's form ask if the juror had created something and had the idea stolen, or if they had ever been accused of taking the idea of another, with a brief explanation in the case of a "yes" answer required.
None of the questions seem to be related to juror technical aptitude other than what mobile phone or tablet ecosystem the prospective juror prefers. Judge Koh is expected to decide on the adequacy of the selection forms before the beginning of next week. The judge has repeatedly pressed for narrowing, winnowing and other forms of expediency in bringing the case to trial, as is likely to comment on Samsung's lengthy questionnaire.
Apple's suit began against Samsung last year for violation of several patents in the Korean manufacturer's Android devices, including the oft-referenced "data tapping" patent, that converts phone numbers and URLs embedded in a text to contextually be used as application-specific links as well as the "unified search" patent, and recently removed from the Galaxy S III in a security patch. Samsung countersued in several countries. At the end of 2011, the patent wars between the pair of industry giants spanned 50 suits across 10 countries. Apple won a temporary restraining order against Samsung on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus, but the sales ban on the Nexus has been stayed for the time being.