SAN JOSE, Calif. — No one in Judge Lucy Koh's courtroom seemed particularly surprised yesterday when it was revealed that Google had agreed to indemnify Samsung against some of Apple's claims in the patent infringement lawsuit being tried in federal court here. Samsung's mobile phone products run on Google's Android operating system, after all, and the tightly coupled interests have been obvious to court watchers throughout the case, which is expected to go to the jury on Monday.
The discovery came right before the start of Apple's rebuttal case when Judge Koh allowed Apple's lead attorney Harold McElhinny to read for the jury a Samsung document stating the company had no such agreement with anyone and then play a somewhat tortured deposition of Google's chief counsel James Maccoun revealing the opposite.
This move was clearly yet another attempt to create an appearance of Samsung's questionable intentions and motives. Earlier in day Apple attorney William Lee, working along the same lines, questioned Samsung's damages expert, James Kearl, about the reasons behind the company's spending $4 million to attempt to prove its $6 million claim against Apple.
The parties have run out of time on Judge Koh's stern stopwatch. Samsung is only allowed 11 remaining minutes for examination of rebuttal witnesses, while Apple has 38 minutes remaining. Testimony in front of the jury will therefore clearly conclude on Friday.
The eight jurors are likely to have gone home dizzy after a whirlwind day that, in addition to the indemnity disclosure, involved topics ranging from video capture modules, shared libraries, and linked actions, to an Apple engineer sharing the birth of his daughter with his mother-in-law in Texas via Facetime.
Samsung attorneys used the morning session to lay out their own patent infringement case against Apple with expert witness testimony. As expected, Apple's experts in defense found no infringement. They contended that Samsung's patents are old enough to have run out by now, and they describe clunky devices of the 1990s that do not apply to the far more complex Apple devices of today.
To that end, James Storer, professor of computer science at Brandeis University, described for the jury his detailed evaluation of the Samsung patents and explained how they place no limitations on Apple's modern products. Two Apple engineers closely involved with iPhone and iPad projects claimed no knowledge of the patents or deliberate infringement. Instead they painted a picture of a product evolution from within their company.
For the rebuttal, Apple brought back some of its earlier expert witnesses who all staunchly defended their previous positions regarding Samsung's infringements and disagreed with every critique leveled against them. Such strong disagreements on highly technical issues are likely to present a particularly difficult challenge for the jury, particularly since the streams of lawyers working the case appear to court watchers to be formidably challenged by the technologies involved.
The jury is expected to get their instructions from Judge Koh on Monday morning with final arguments by attorneys in the afternoon.
— Magnus Thordarson is an IT consultant and freelance writer based in San Jose, Calif. With a background in industry and academia, he is a veteran of Kaiser Permanente IT and writes about all aspects of information technology and management of information systems.
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