Our legal education continues. In answer to my earlier question about how would the judge treat an error by the jury. The verdict is in and:
"After reviewing the complex decision. Judge Koh found two errors. The jury awarded about $219,000 in damages for infringement involving the Galaxy Tab LTE even though it found that the device did not infringe Apple's patents. In addition, it found the Samsung Intercept handset did not infringe but cited it in inducement, a legal impossibility. Judge Koh pointed out the errors to the jury and dismissed to continue deliberations to resolve the $2.5 million question. Both sides are standing by while the legal detail are resolved." -
What if the jury reaches a verdict that violates any of the complex instructions from the judge? Is there a mechanism for her to reject the verdict with reference to her instructions and send the jury back for further deliberations or is the only option for Apple or Samsung to appeal on the basis of that issue in another court?
I was not in court during jury selection but Charlie Babcock, my peer from InformationWeek, was. Here's his story here:
Are any of the jury members technically skilled? Or were all the scientists and engineers in the pool excused as soon as they stated their profession? If we think trials like these are head-scratchers, just imagine what it's like to be one of the actual jurors!
The possible outcomes are:
1) Samsung infringed
2) Apple infringed
3) Both infringed
4) Neither infringed
Any outcome other than the first will compell Apple to take it to Appeals court.
Best hope for ending this drama is to find Samsung guilty of infringement (not willfull however) but not to the degree claimed by Apple ...so the damages will be in the $100s of millions which will be further reduced by royalties that Apple will have to pay for Samsung's 3G patents.
Neither party is entirely innocent and the market is big enough for both (and a few more) ...it's not in the interest of the consumer or even the future of innovation to let one of these two to dominate the global market!
So if the jury would like to get home early, it behooves them to decide that nobody infringed. That way they don't have to deliberate over damages, which could take days. Oracle v. Google was similar, although in that case the trial over damages could not begin unless the jury decided there was infringement. They decided there wasn't any and went home early.