I agree 100%. There was no "jury of peers" here. Not at all. That...and the decision was rushed. I don't care what anyone says. 3 days is too short to consider 700 questions and all of the technical minutiae that needed to be considered.
These types of cases should be handled by technical committees like the one that investigated the Challenger and Columbia accidents. They didn't just grab 9 people of the street and say "hey...you guys figure it out..."
Definitely prejudiced from the start. He really didn't even have to attend the trial. Would have been quite a time saver - just start deliberations on the first day and release your verdict. Why wait for the evidence, it always gets in the way of a sensible and reasonalbe verdict anyway!
Hmmm, I've never heard of a case where jurors' freedom of speech was taken away as you claim. Sure, they aren't allowed to speak about the trial during the trial. But this was after. And jurors often are interviewed by the press after a high-profile case. I suspect that's a good thing.
When I was a juror, we were instructed not to do any of our own research. It seems judges don't like it if evidence is introduced that the parties in the case don't have an opportunity to refute. That rule made sense to me at the time, and still does today. Is this sufficient to declare a mistrial?
juries have no place in patent cases, and this is a great example why. the real problem here is the incredibly corrupt and muddled IP world, where everyone is trying to turn the law in their favor, and no one is asking "is it right".
IP protection should be short and narrow. anything else contradicts its purpose, which is to PROMOTE PROGRESS. protecting profits is merely a side-effect.
Several things surprise me about this case:
First is that Hogan spoke out the way he did. I'm glad he did, because it gives us much more insight into why the jury did what they did. But far too often, juries are not allowed to talk, and I'm surprised this wasn't one of them.
Second, I'm surprised that several of the jurors were seated. Generally anyone with a brain (or at least knowledge of the subject domain) is rejected for fear the lawyers might not be able to influence them with garbage.
Third, I'm surprised Hogan and others shared background information that influenced the decision. Again, there is a well entrenched dogma in the legal world that juries MUST be pooled ignorance. The lawyers must control the entire information content. I can see both sides of this one.
And finally, I'm surprised at some of the outcome. Maybe I was expecting the jury to pass judgement on the patent system rather than on Apple or Samsung. But I agree with those who say a rectangle with rounded corners (so common it has a name in graphics--rounded rectangle) with a black face is patentable! My Droid-X only escapes because the claim also included a metal edge bezel, which Droid-X fortunately doesn't have. Or maybe it was that the Droid-X is thicker at the top.
I'm glad for what was shared, and not too suprised, but very disappointed at the outcome. Not necessarily the fault of the jury. The fact that a billion dollars was even resting on this rather fuzzy case is scary. Our country has little use for competition, and no use for the little guy who could never have fought, let alone paid for, a case of this size. The big winners here are big business and lawyers.
The jury was fortunate to have someone there who could explain to others the intricacies of patents.
@gary: Patent holders biased for or against what? For the concept of IP? Against theft of same by "enemies." People aren't born enemies, they become that while attempting to steal the ideas of others.
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 23 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...