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Jury asks questions of court, gets rebuffed in Apple-Samsung trial

updated 06:26 pm EDT, Wed April 30, 2014

Judge says jury must work with the evidence given; supplies request granted

On the first full day of deliberations in the second Apple-Samsung trial, jurors have asked for two different things: some office supplies to help them in their work, and for additional evidence -- seemingly to help them decide motivations on the part of the CEOs of both Apple and Samsung. The former requests have been granted, but the latter requests were rebuffed by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who told the jury that they would have to work with what they already have.

After asking for highlighters and sticky notes yesterday, on Wednesday they requested an easel, scissors and tape, all of which were granted. They then sent out another note to the judge (the only way they are allowed to communicate to the court) asking five questions. The last of these was a request for eight more copies of the jury verdict for "for reference," and this was also provided for them.

Two of the questions (the first and fourth) asked for additional clarification about what Steve Jobs actually said "at the moment he decided to prosecute a case against Samsung?" They also wanted to know if Google was mentioned or included in that decision or subsequent decisions in the case, hinting that Jobs' "holy war against Google" email may be playing a central role in some of the decisions the jury is making.

Of course, they also asked what the CEO of Samsung said, wrote or did when he heard that Apple had complained that Samsung was infringing Apple patents, and what direction he gave in reaction. The fact that the Apple CEO was called by name where the Samsung CEO wasn't speaks to the absence of any Korean Samsung executives from testifying in any of the Apple-Samsung trials so far, a point mentioned by Apple's Harold McElhinny in his closing. It also points to the idea that Apple's protestations that Google was not a defendant in the case may not be sitting well with the jury.

The second jury question asked how Apple chose the five patents presented in the case, and whether Apple's leadership were made aware of what patents would be used prior to the decision to pursue a lawsuit. The third question asked essentially the same thing of the two Samsung patents, how they were "chosen to be purchased, and who specifically and initially recommended that purchase?"

Following a brief discussion with attorneys for both Apple and Samsung, Judge Koh adopted Apple's proposal and instructed the jurors that the evidence presented at trial is all they will have to work with, and that they must reach a decision based on what they were given during the trial. Typically, juries are not allowed to be presented with additional evidence following the conclusion of a trial -- though they can, at a judge's discretion, be directed back to specific parts of the evidence already presented, or have specific portions of testimony read back to them as a refresher.

This jury is notable for being composed almost exclusively of people with a no technical background (though one member is a former IBM executive), and no familiarity with software code or the patent system. More than one juror claimed not to own a smartphone at all, and one juror said he uses a 15-year-old PC and did not (during the interview process) know what "Siri" or an iPad was. This made for a bit of an extra challenge to the attorneys and experts on both sides, as they struggled to make the minutia of what comprises a modern smartphone relevant and interesting to the jury.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Another possibility you may not have considered: being mostly non-tech people, they're probably working through the non-technical aspects of the case first, then will get into the harder stuff later. I think a lot of people work like that.

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