Just because a juror is given instructions, it doesn't mean he has to shut off his brain. So for example, it would be hard to believe that none of the jurors had ever used a word processor in the past 20+ years. If they had used one, they would have known that Apple hardly invented text auto-correction.
Now comes the time to award damages. Given that the jury had a say in that, EVEN IF the Samsung defense attorney had not mentioned previous art, the least the jury could have done is to levy no more than, say, $1 in penalties to Samsung.
So I continue not to get this. I'm really, really unimpressed with this series of trials.
@Bert22306, there are a number of things that make little or no sense with this kind of trial, i.e., where highly technical issues are at stake.
I do not pretend to have the solutions. We are stuck with Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure that govern court procedures and put substantial constraints on what seems obvious and makes sense (such as the example you mention). Consider this for instance: for a whole month the judge reminded the jury every time they left the courtroom not to research the case or discuss it with anyone. In other words, it constitutes juror misconduct and is grounds for mistrial if they so much as try to educate themselves about something they heard in court that day. They can't ask questions in court and they can't discuss what's going on amongst themselves until testimony is over and they have been sent for deliberation. This went on for a whole month. One would think there is a better way.
Matters of law, burden of proof and all that good stuff aside, absence of neutral technical expertise in a courtcase like this is striking. The expert testimony is bought (for big bucks) by both sides, virtually all of it is highly technical both in substance and language and at best is likely to come across for the untrained person as meaningless disagreements. The attorneys and the judge are no help to the jury, none of them are trained in information technology and demonstrated only rudimentary understanding.
Therefore, I believe it's not a stretch to believe that both the technology and finance/economics testimony went by and large over the jurors' heads and the decision was reached on some overall general perception of what they experienced during the month rather than what was true and what was false. This is a theory of course, the foreman avoided or declined to reveal anything that might help us understand what really happened, what logic is behind each infringment decision, and how they calculated the damages.
After a long fight the compensation is only 6% of the asked amount and that too Samsung is saying to fight against. This is going to be never ending battle. The cost of fighting might end up being quite a considerable amount. Liked the idea that there is a consulting business to suggest jurors for patent lawsuits.
I had posted precisely on this issue in another thread pointing out to the Indian system which has dedicated IP tribunal staffed by one retired judge(has to be a judge at the top, all judicial systems are incorrigible!) and a technical member panel. The technical memver panel is unfortunately currently deputed from senior management staff from the the patent office but that is still better than someone with just a legal background. But the tribunal technically can recruit any expert as a technical member. So not the greatest of systems but better than a jury of so called peers !
Even sticking to the US system, in cases like this, jury trials do more harm than good. Besides if I as an engineer am being judged for patent violations, should not philosophically speaking a jury of my peers be composed solely of qualified engineers ?
Magnus, if what you describe is the way it is, I'm not sure how they ever select juries. It's not even a matter of technical expertise we're talking about. It's having to obey instructions which would have the jurors block out everything they already to know to be true.
If someone is being sued for claiming the the earth is round, and the defense attorney does not bring in expert witnesses that claim this is fact, then this person can be made to pay huge fines? Or worse? If the jury is given the latitude to decide on the penalty to impose, it seems to me that they are being given the opportunity to use their heads. Even in spite of incompetent defense attorneys.
This doesn't sound reasonable. I would think they should all get up and say, "We are in contempt of this court."
Reasonable or not, the jury selection process involves both parties and the judge. They all sit in a courtroom and weed out from the jury pool through questionnaires and direct questioning. It's a consensus driven process and in the end noone sits on the jury that hasn't been vetted and agreed upon by both parties.
The jury in this case were four men and four women. They elected Mr. Dunham as their foreman but only after they had started deliberations. In other words, there is no particular foreman during witness testimony. Dunham is a retired IBM manager (I'm not sure how long he has been retired) and the only juror with technology background. The other jurors were a retired teacher, a retired plumbing contractor, an accounting assistant, an executive assistant, a police department community service officer, a county office worker, and a store clerk. All the expert witnesses except one were PhDs in computer science or economics.
"In post-trial motions and on appeal, we will ask the judge and the federal circuit to cut the 6% verdict to 0, which is where it should end. We can keep fighting, or Apple can decide to go back to competing with Samsung in the marketplace."
I'll bet the Samsung and Apple lawyers were winking at each other when he said this. Cases like this can keep a large number of lawyers employed for decades.
The smartest think Samsung can do now is to stop listening to the lawyers, pay the $125 million, and go back to designing phones. At this point, what's in the best interest of the lawyers is not in the best interest of Apple and Samsung.
What makes these things tricky is the precedent they set. Apple (or any other tech company) can use this judgement as a stick to keep beating all their present and future competitors, thus stifling competition.
What i just read tells me that although the juror may not have been paid off during the trial, he'll get paid off after. I wonder how those types of converations went... Dunham will be able to have others restore his British autos for him!