Bounce back patent falls flat
Apple spent a fair amount of time describing the wonders of its ‘831 patent, the so called bounce- or snap-back patent. Oops! Along comes a pretty credible expert witness for Samsung today shooting it down—with a canon.
Professor Andries van Dam, the Thomas J. Watson chair of computer science at Brown University fired one of the quotes-of-the-day at that 2007 patent.
“I determined relatively quickly I was quite familiar with snapping and taught it to my sophomore course for at least a decade around the ‘70 and ‘80s, so I thought I would be on the fit side of this dispute,” Van Dam said.
He then went through in great detail examples of prior art. Cross exam was polite at best.
Interestingly, Van Dam said he got the second doctorate awarded in the U.S. in computer science. His roommate got the first.
Among Van Dam’s students: a chief Intel x86 architect and fellow, a director of research at Google, a member of Microsoft’s founding team and a key Macintosh inventor. I guess he seeded this whole PC thing, eh? Oh, incidentally, he has worked extensively in user interfaces.
Van Dam gets paid for his pedigree. He’s the most expensive witness in the case so far, earning $1,000/hour and having spent 460 hours on the case so far. Holy ka-ching!
Judge Lucy H. Koh says Samsung will be out of time by end of day tomorrow--each side has a 25 hour limit with the jury. She says testimony should finish by the end of the week. No extensions.
Closing arguments could come as soon as Tuesday and then it’s up to a diverse group of nine unnamed people who have been sitting in the jury box.
The lawyers want more time to raise objections to the judge’s instructions to the jury. Something she is considering.
“There’s a human limit to what our [federal court] team can do compared to your legions of lawyers,” Koh said. “I am trying to do this as expeditiously as possible,” she said.
“You have briefed objections to jury instructions a minimum of twice, now you are saying [you want] three or four [times]--that’s what I hear, said the judge with some exasperation at the mounds of paperwork still not yet at an end.
An appeal is expected, whoever wins.