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Samsung gathers ammunition for new trial

Publication Date : 27-09-2012


Samsung Electronics appeared to be busy gathering ammunition to overturn a recent billion-dollar verdict from a US federal court that Samsung “willfully” infringed Apple’s software patents.

“Juror misconduct” is the latest argument from the Suwon-based electronics maker, which alleges that the foreman of the nine-member panel which deliberated on the high-stakes patent battle with Apple failed to reveal his previous involvement in a litigation with a Samsung-affiliated company.

The foreman, Velvin Hogan, also had extensive tech knowledge that likely influenced the other jurors, according to Samsung’s attorneys.

“Although the public version of Samsung’s JMOL (judgement as a matter of law) motion is redacted, Samsung will have strong arguments regarding jury misconduct,” said John Kim, a partner in the IT division of Lee & Ko, which represents Samsung here.

The allegations from Samsung were included in the redacted segments of the JMOL -- a motion made by a party during trial claiming the opposing party has insufficient evidence to support its case -- Thomson Reuters reported earlier this week.

Hogan was discovered to have 35 years of experience in the hard disk drive business and hold video recording patents. He was also employed by Seagate Technology in the 1980s, but later sued the company for fraud.

Seagate’s link with Samsung is the hard disk drive manufacturing arm that Samsung Electronics sold to it in 2011. Samsung is currently Seagate’s second-largest stakeholder.

Shortly after the verdict was released in August, Hogan admitted in an interview with Bloomberg that he had expected to be ruled out from jury selection due to his tech background.

Samsung attorneys listed a series of cases where juror misconduct triggered a new trial, thereby raising speculation of the possibility of the previous verdict being replaced.

The high-profile legal battle between the two tech heavyweights had hardly been expected to end with the August verdict, as it went beyond a simple war over patents; many observers said the results would mark a reshuffling in the world’s tech industry.

Apple and Samsung are neck-and-neck in the cutthroat competition for rolling out smarter devices.

“The latest discoveries are a part of Samsung’s efforts to turn the tables, but we’ll have to see exactly how and to what extent they will be factored in,” said one industry watcher.

Samsung Electronics yesterday announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 2, its latest smart device. Share prices of its stocks closed at 1.325 million won (US$1,206.06), down 0.15 per cent from the previous day.


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