Apple-Samsung billion-dollar legal duel continues

2012-12-05 09:22

San Francisco – Apple and Samsung will face off in federal court tomorrow over whether a juror’s own legal dispute wrongly led to the South Korean firm being hit with a billion-dollar patent damages award.

At the hearing before US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, Samsung will present a motion to have the $1.049 billion jury verdict tossed out based on the jury foreman’s undisclosed legal skirmish with Seagate nearly 20 years ago.

The foreman had worked for Seagate, a technology company in which Samsung owns a small stake, and wound up declaring bankruptcy after a court battle with his former employer.

Samsung hopes to convince Koh that the juror’s experience influenced the August verdict, in what amounted to misconduct strong enough to have the outcome overturned.

Samsung also called for Apple lawyers to reveal whether they knew that aspect of the juror’s past – and opted not to share it in court.

In a filing late last week, Apple attorney Mark Selwyn said that the legal team had not been aware of the juror’s history with Seagate and argued that deliberations were not tainted by misconduct.

Along with Samsung motions to reduce or dismiss charges, Koh is expected to consider Apple’s request for “punitive” damages, which could triple the award.

In August, the jury decided that Samsung should pay Apple $1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades – a verdict that could have huge market repercussions.

Samsung has depicted the verdict as “a loss” for consumers and contended that Apple had “manipulated” the patent system.

Samsung had steadfastly denied the charges by Apple, claiming it developed its devices independently.

It unsuccessfully argued that Apple infringed on its wireless patents.

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