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Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:15 PM

Apple vs Samsung: Jurors talk to media about their deliberations, sound like absolute idiots

For such a huge court case I thought it was odd that the jury would only need to deliberate for three days before coming to a full verdict. I haven't been paying much attention to the thing, these titanic battles taking place too often to grab your attention unless it's the kind of thing you follow already. However, after reading Apple's somewhat insane overview of what a company producing smartphones or tablets could do to avoid infringing on Apple's patents, and then reading that the jury had upheld such megalomaniacal claims...yeah, that got my attention.

BTW, Apple's helpful advice? As long as rival tablets and smartphones don't look anything like tablets or smartphones, everything's cool:
http://www.itworld.com/mobile-wireless/230535/apples-helpful-guidelines-competitors-avoid-patent-infringement?page=0,1

I'm not a fan of how Apple does business but this epic fuckup appears to rest solely on the jury's shoulders. And what narrow, fidgety shoulders they must be:
For a start, the jury did not rely on the instructions provided by the judge to determine the outcome, and it seems that they may have made the decision in haste, especially since there were 700 questions to answer.

A juror told CNET that while the nine-person group had debated about the patents heavily, but they skipped on a very important aspect: Prior art.

"After we debated that first patent--what was 'prior art'--because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art, that there wasn't something out there before Apple," said Manuel Illagan.

"In fact we skipped that one, so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down."


'Jury bogged down? Just skip it!' Holy shit.

Like I said, I'm no fan of Apple's business practices but when you have a jury like this making decisions which could have a huge impact on a whole industry neither side really wins in the long run. Take that now-famous "1 Billion Dollar Judgement":
Dan Levine of Reuters has some words from the foreman:

"We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist," Hogan said. "We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable."

Hogan said jurors were able to complete their deliberations in less than three days -- much faster than legal experts had predicted -- because a few had engineering and legal experience, which helped with the complex issues in play. Once they determined Apple's patents were valid, jurors evaluated every single device separately, he said.

Now the jurors are contradicting each other. Lordy, the more they talk, the worse it gets. I'm sure Samsung is glad they are talking, though. Had they read the full jury instructions, all 109 pages (as PDF), they would have read that damages are not supposed to punish, merely to compensate for losses. Here's what they would have found in Final Jury Instruction No. 35, in part:

The amount of those damages must be adequate to compensate the patent holder for the infringement. A damages award should put the patent holder in approximately the financial position it would have been in had the infringement not occurred, but in no event may the damages award be less than a reasonable royalty. You should keep in mind that the damages you award are meant to compensate the patent holder and not to punish an infringer.

'When in doubt just do whatever, y'all!' Again, holy shit.

These aren't the only inconsistencies in the case, the last two articles I link to go into much more detail. The worst actor in this debacle wasn't Apple or Samsung, it was a jury composed of people who will one day disinterestedly award a company the patent on your balls and include the price of the hunting knife they'll use to cut them off you in the damages.

PB

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Apple vs Samsung: Jurors talk to media about their deliberations, sound like absolute idiots (Original post)
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 OP
uponit7771 Aug 2012 #1
spanone Aug 2012 #2
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 #6
AngryAmish Aug 2012 #8
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 #10
AngryAmish Aug 2012 #16
stranger81 Aug 2012 #13
AngryAmish Aug 2012 #15
FreeJoe Aug 2012 #3
MadHound Aug 2012 #4
still_one Aug 2012 #5
Ezlivin Aug 2012 #7
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 #9
MadHound Aug 2012 #11
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 #12
MadHound Aug 2012 #17
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 #18
dipsydoodle Aug 2012 #14
JFN1 Aug 2012 #19
Riftaxe Aug 2012 #20

Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:17 PM

1. OMG!! "In fact we skipped that one, so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down."

That's VERY gating to the case, you can't take the idea of the wheel and try to patent it!!!

Or has this been done already?

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:17 PM

2. both sides choose the jury.

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Response to spanone (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:27 PM

6. Neither Apple's nor Samsung's lawyers bear responsibility for this kind of epic fuckup.

They just pick a jury they think they can win with. Because of the jury's actions, Samsung's appeal of the ruling will almost certainly go through.

In other words, neither Apple nor Samsung wins anything with a jury like this.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:32 PM

8. You do realize the trial and appellate courts don't look at what jurors say afterward, do you?

Only in cases where there was jury tampering or if there was serious juror misconduct.

My point: unless the jurors say now that they were bribed it doesn't matter what they say.

(In any jury trial you do the jury thinks some strange shit along the way. Part of the human mind is that it sees stories and fills in the details as they see fit..

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:41 PM

10. But it's not just what the jurors said afterward- that's the point of the articles at Groklaw:

During the trial the jury foreman indicated on at least one occasion (from the Groklaw link in my OP):
The foreman told a court representative that the jurors had reached a decision without needing the instructions.


Samsung will appeal the ruling and it will almost certainly be taken up by the appeals court. The nature of the jury's deliberative process is extremely questionable. Not being an appellate court judge in this life, I can't say for sure that they won't deny the appeal, but I would find the precedent set in such a case, with such a jury, would warrant some higher judicial review.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 02:41 PM

16. Most of the time juries don't read the instructions

Jury instructions are very confusing.

Want to be more shocked: Juries usually decide the case during the plaintiff's opening argument. Then they remember details that support their judgment and ignore other facts. It is the way our brains are made.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 02:28 PM

13. But appellate courts do look at what the jury did in the verdict form.

Here, they awarded damages to Apple on two patents they found Samsung didn't even infringe. And that's just the first problem.

This jury = completely out to lunch.

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Response to stranger81 (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 02:38 PM

15. I don't know if they did award damages on patents found to be non-infringing

If they did then the damages get tossed as inconsistent.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:20 PM

3. I don't want to take sides...

because I haven't followed the case that closely. Still, it is hard to believe that Apple vs Samsung could be a remotely fair trial in San Jose. That would be like GM suing Toyota in Detroit.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:24 PM

4. Surprise, surprise, an Apple hater not liking the verdict handed down

 

Let me guess, if these "circumstances" that you speak of would have been the same, but the verdict would have been in Samsung's favor, we wouldn't be hearing a single peep out of you.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:26 PM

5. The Apple shorts don't like it for sure. /nt

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Response to MadHound (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:27 PM

7. +100

N/T

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Response to MadHound (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:34 PM

9. Not about Apple or Samsung: It's about a jury that isn't heeding the judge's instructions and...

...literally going off in their own direction. I completely understand how you might not necessarily be able or willing to peel apart my exceedingly vitriolic criticisms of Apple's business practices in the past and the point of this OP.

I would ask you, though, do the jury's actions make sense...to you?

I have every reason to believe that the jury's actions will result in a successful appeal by Samsung and in such a matter the jury's decision won't make a lick of difference, anyway. That's kind of the point: The jury's behavior is probably going to deny both Apple and Samsung any kind of meaningful resolution on this issue.

So, nobody's actually "won" or "lost" anything yet.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:44 PM

11. Well, at least you're being honest with yourself and the rest of us

 

You have indeed been an Apple hater. Nice to see that you admit that.

Second of all, the fact of the matter is that neither you, nor I, nor the reporters who interviewed the jurors, were in on the jury deliberation. None of us know the full story of what went on there, and never will. Thus, we can't make a valid judgment of how well the jury performed their duties.

Frankly, to go down this path, second guessing juries, for whatever reasons, well, there lies the destruction of our system of justice and anarchy. I would prefer that not to happen. If Samsung thinks that there is an adequate basis for an appeal, and the justice system agrees with them, then there will be an appeal and the whole thing will be back in court again, before another jury.

Let me ask you, if that is the case, and that second jury finds for Apple, will you finally be satisfied? Somehow I think not. Given your attitude towards Apple I don't think that you'll be never be satisfied unless Samsung comes out ahead, and Apple is left a smoking cinder by the side of the road.

Which is why our justice system isn't put into hands such as yours. Extreme bias is a terrible thing to watch in action.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #11)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 02:22 PM

12. Which is why I brought that fact up twice in my own, still unedited, OP when I wrote it.

Also, I'd argue this isn't about second-guessing the jury. Because second-guessing, by the nature of it, involves actually guessing. In this case we have members of the jury, the most authoritative source possible, directly informing the world of their deliberative process. Which are directly at odds with their written instructions on a number of counts. As the Groklaw article I link to (and subsequently sever sources it links to) state, written records of transactions between the jury and the court also substantiate the jury's accounts.

I just want to be clear on that. I mean, we're not talking about what was going on in the minds of jurors at the OJ trial here. Apparently at least some of the jurors, including the foreman, have placed their cards on the table, publicly, and by doing so raise real concerns about their own deliberative process. Period, full stop.

Let me ask you, if that is the case, and that second jury finds for Apple, will you finally be satisfied? Somehow I think not. Given your attitude towards Apple I don't think that you'll be never be satisfied unless Samsung comes out ahead, and Apple is left a smoking cinder by the side of the road.


We're talking about a jury which upheld patents on elemental design elements (i.e. rectangular with rounded edges, rectangular screen on the front of a flat surface) and admits to having done so without having considered prior art. If you look back on my posts over the last 10 years, you'll find I hammer Apple on one thing which generally has nothing to do with patent trolling: The disparity between Apple's advertizing campaign and its actual behavior as a corporation.

The appropriation of a patent in such elemental design elements and a paper trail and public commentary by the jury which indicate prior art was not considered is extremely concerning. Once a patent is awarded and upheld on something, at least in America, that's pretty much it.

Now, I'm not sure if you'd read about it at the time or even if I commented on it at DU, but Google once tried the same variety of grab by scanning in thousands and thousands of out of print books, without securing the copyright from the authors and then selling them as e-books. Without the backlash from publishers and authors which followed, Google would have happily used its weight as an enormous and extremely-well-capitalized corporation to do something which any individual would have been legally-prohibited from doing, cornering a market on the bulk of prior printed material in a pretty amazing way.

While I find other elements of Apple's business practices to be odious enough to regularly comment on, patent trolling on this scale is extremely dangerous no matter who does it, and especially if a jury is willing to uphold it.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #12)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 02:45 PM

17. Like I said before, I congratulate you for being honest about your extreme bias against Apple

 

And despite what some members of the jury are saying now, we don't, and never will, have the full story of what went on in that deliberation room.

And again, it isn't like Samsung doesn't have legal recourse in this case, they can, and probably will, appeal, and this whole thing will be in the hands of another jury.

What you never answered is if that second jury once again finds for Apple, will you be happy with that decision, or will you be back on the boards here blazing away about a huuuuuge miscarriage of justice?

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Response to MadHound (Reply #17)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 03:20 PM

18. I'm not entirely adverse to adressing hypothetical situations but, honestly, any second jury...

...couldn't possibly reproduce the serious errors which occurred in this one. I'm not talking about the outcome but about the deliberative process which members of the jury, including the foreman, clearly and explicitly indicated were used. On at least two counts the jury intentionally disregarded the instructions and on at least one occasion, officially informed the court that it had.

A company granted a patent can naturally attempt to defend that patent and Apple has every right to defend those patents. However, in a case such as this the validity of those patents fall under scrutiny of a jury and the primary focus of the validity of a patent (before infringement can be calculated) is whether the patent is valid in the first place, or, whether there exists prior art of some sort was openly and by the jury's own admission, disregarded.

The second of the two most notable errors here are that the damages were, as at least the jury foreman admitted, calculated arbitrarily. In two instances the jury fined Samsung for patent infringements the jury itself said did not take place. Their calculus of the damages, even using their own incorrect methods did not match up and the judge sent the verdict back to the jury to correct. They jury sent the damages back to the judge who apparently thought those damages were correct based on the jury's reasoning but some of the updates on Groklaw and elsewhere from other lawyers looking at the case indicate that the total damages awarded to Apple still do not accurately reflect the metrics of the verdict.

And despite what some members of the jury are saying now, we don't, and never will, have the full story of what went on in that deliberation room.


This is merely your opinion, though. With the exception of a ruling by the Supreme Court or a refusal by the Supreme Court to hear the case after some chain of appellate rulings or similar refusals, the definitive legal judgement on what happened is still very much a possibility. An appellate court's acceptance of the case would be indication that there was enough evidence that the matter was mishandled and warrants revisiting.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 02:34 PM

14. This is only a pyrrhic victory for Apple

The actual winners are consumers because within a relatively sort period of time Samsung et al will now wreck Apple's price structure.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 03:39 PM

19. Dumbing down the populace only means more of this...

Jury aside, corporate greed is the real idiot here...

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 05:01 PM

20. The intent of Voir Dire is to ensure

that only mouth droolers will be seated on the jury; or at least it so it often seems to be in practice.

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