SAN JOSE, Calif.--Pressures of the patent infringement battle boiled over Friday morning (Aug. 3) as Judge Lucy Koh admonished Apple and Samsung in front of the jury for deluging the court with objections and other motions. She also polled the jury to see if they had been tainted by Samsung’s release to the press of evidence that had been excluded from court.
Koh had ordered objections could be filed in written form to maximize time in court for testimony. However, multiple poorly written objections and other motions were being filed as late as 11 p.m. in the evening, swamping the court’s ability to respond.
At the trial's outset, the judge set a time limit of 25 hours for each side to present its case to the jury.
Written objections have “gotten out of hand, some of these have been briefed and re-briefed six times,” Koh told the jury Friday. “The good news is [future objections] will be on the clock, if they want to fight in front of you that is there choice,” she said.
“There has been no discipline” in filing motions to reconsider, she told the attorneys before the jury was seated for the day.
Before the jury came in, Koh also admonished Samsung’s attorney John Quinn for the public release of pictures of early models of the iPhone that had been excluded from evidence, apparently because they were submitted too late. The images appeared in slide shows from the Wall Street Journal and other publications.
The pictures were submitted in part to argue that Sony products influenced the design of the original iPhone. If true, the allegation could undermine Apple’s contention its design concepts were original inventions.
Koh called Samsung’s behavior a “willful and deliberate attempt to propagate that [excluded] evidence the day after the jury was impaneled. I will not tolerate any theatrics or sideshows distracting us from what we must do,” she warned both sides.
Then Koh polled jurors individually to determine if any had seen and been influenced by the stories on the materials Samsung released. Only one juror said he saw a story about the case, and that was only a headline not related to the Samsung issue.
“I am satisfied this jury will be impartial,” she said, resuming the trial.
Koh told the jury the court will compile press reports on the case that they will be able to read after the trial is over. “You will learn everything at the end, we just need you to shut off any other reading or hearing about the case,” she instructed jurors.
We are talking of claims of $2,5 billion and a lot more at stake for the whole electronics industry regards stiffling innovation with patents that outlive the technology, so it is reasonable that the courts appoint people familiar with patent law to fight patent battles. To exclude prior art that invalidates Apples claims to originality is absurd, no matter how late presented. In fact, the design patents should now be invalidated with publicly available prior art.