Judge Agrees To Re-Examine Jury Foreman Who Awarded Apple $1.05b In Damages

Judge Agrees To Re-Examine Jury Foreman Who Awarded Apple $1.05b In Damages

Jury foreman Velvin Hogan.

Judge Lucy Koh has agreed to re-examine the role of jury foreman Velvin Hogan, who found Samsung guilty of patent infringement and awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages earlier this year. Samsung requested a retrial back in October after it became apparent that Hogan failed to disclose details of a lawsuit against Seagate that he was involved in 20 years ago.

Samsung is a major investor in Seagate, Hogan’s former employer, which sued him back in 1993 after he had filed for bankruptcy. Samsung believes that because of this litigation, Hogan would have been biased. It didn’t help that Hogan failed to disclose the litigation to Judge Lucy Koh during jury questioning at the Apple versus Samsung case.

Hogan argued at the time that the incident took place in 1993, over 20 years ago, and that he was only asked to disclose cases he had been involved with within the last ten years. He also suggested that Samsung only allowed him to be on the jury so that it had an excuse for a retrial if the case didn’t go in its favor.

It’s still unlikely that Samsung will get its desired outcome, however. GoMo News reports that according to legal experts, “it is generally hard to overturn a jury decision because of alleged misconduct if only because US law doesn’t accommodate intrusion into how jurors reach their decisions.”

  • Adrayven

    Might as well as say he’s American so he must be biased.

  • ActionableMango

    If he was asked to report on litigation in the last 10 years, and the Seagate lawsuit was 20 years ago, then he didn’t “fail to disclose” anything. That’s not even remotely close.

  • Appleobjectionist
    If he was asked to report on litigation in the last 10 years, and the Seagate lawsuit was 20 years ago, then he didn’t “fail to disclose” anything. That’s not even remotely close.

    Oh my goodness… He was ***NOT*** asked to report on litigation of the past 10 years, that was completely made up or mis-remembered by Hogan. You can read the official transcript, it’s publicly available. He was asked if he was EVER in the past involved in litigation.

    There are other serious problems too, not mentioned in this article. From Samsung’s filing:
    Mr. Hogan’s self-reported conduct during the jury deliberations presents the “reasonable possibility” that extraneous material “could have affected the verdict.” In post-verdict interviews with the media, Mr. Hogan said that he told his fellow jurors an accused device infringes a design patent based on “look and feel”, that an accused device infringes a utility patent unless it is “entirely different”, that a prior art reference could not be invalidating unless that reference was “interchangeable”, and that invalidating prior art must be currently in use. These incorrect and extraneous legal standards had no place in the jury room.

  • Robert X

    Good. I think Samsung will lose anyway but it should be done on the up and up.

  • Appleobjectionist

    I see that Cult of Mac reporters are apparently not only biased (obviously) but willfully ignorant of the facts. First of all, you fail to report that the 10 year question can easily be discredited by reading the official transcript of the jury selection. He made it up, whether accidentally or on purpose. Also, there is much more to Samsung’s objection – see my other comment.

  • technochick

    If he was asked to report on litigation in the last 10 years, and the Seagate lawsuit was 20 years ago, then he didn’t “fail to disclose” anything. That’s not even remotely close.

    Apparently the transcript refutes that ten year bit. But as long as he answered the actual question truthfully and Samsung didn’t ask for details or just boot him without more info there might not be much they can do. Even in an appeal they could lose considering that any schmo could see the design similarities and Apple had rather damning proof against Samsung’s denial they were looking the iPhone during design

  • buckustoothnail

    Besides the judge agreeing to re-examine the issue of juror bias, another set-back for Apple is the US Patent Office invalidated 20 of its “rubber-banding” patents after the trial, including patents related directly to the case. This was based on the discovery of “prior art” that preceded Apple’s patent application, proving it was not Apple’s invention.

    One of the invalidated patents was determined by the jury to be infringed upon by Samsung which forms much of the basis of the verdict. With the patent now invalidated, this throws the whole verdict into doubt since Apple should have never been granted that patent in the first place.

    This leads to the question of how valid many of Apple’s “design” patents really are.

    Examples include Apple being awarded patents for something “that helps the touchscreen interpret whether the user wants, for example, to scroll up and down or switch between applications” and “allows the device to show an image on a screen with a second, translucent image over it”.

    No wonder the US Patent Office has been rescinding numerous patents it previously awarded to Apple. These examples are just ridiculous. The patent system was design really for mechanical inventions, back when cutting-edge technology were electric lights, steam engines and the phonograph.

    Now you can patent an IDEA without actually executing it, or in these cases, writing the actual software for it. That’s how Apple has all these nonsensical “patents” because they submitted every idea you can imagine, and weren’t required to actually show a working demonstration of it.

    That’s why you have these patent trolling companies whose sole purpose is to apply for these “patents” with ideas only, and once they’ve received it, even if it’s brand new, they can sue any company they want for infringing on those patents, even if the products were in existent before the patent application was even filed!

    The real issue is with what Apple is doing is they are basically trying to stop innovation in our world to further line their own pockets. Sadly most of the patents they are suing with they NEVER intend to actualize in a product. They only want to PREVENT any other company to bring it to market so to block the profits for all their competitors while they try to monopolize the market.

    Sadly what this means for consumers is that Apple is preventing technological advances from reaching the market, meaning not only are the products available to us not as good as they can be, but also that we are increasingly given less choice in terms of products and forced to only choose Apple given the US courts are helping them in achieving a monopoly in the United States.

    It’s worth noting that the US is the ONLY country where Apple has had any MAJOR success in their frivolous patent lawsuits. They have been defeated in the courts of practically every other country including a rather humiliating defeat in the UK where the court ordered Apple to post a humbling apology to Samsung on its website and in newspaper ads acknowledging Samsung didn’t copy their designs. Even the early injunctions Apple scored in Germany against Samsung were eventually overturned and since then the the UK verdict is binding for all of the EU.

    Another sad fact is Apple now spend MORE money on lawyers, litigation and patent trolling than it does on research and development. They are paying lawyers and law firms literally tens of billions of dollars every year on these lawsuits.

    The really surprising thing is that Apple does NOT expect to recoup these legal fees ever if they WON all their lawsuits. So the real reason they are suing is not for financial compensation but rather purely to prevent their competitors products from reaching the market.

    How’s that for “free trade”. Rather than competing in the consumer marketplace by offering better products and value and letting the consumer decide the winner, Apple prefers to choose FOR the consumer by denying choice for the public and not having to compete by offering the best product.

  • buckustoothnail

    On top of that, Apple has been refusing to PAY LICENSE FEES for using technology patented by other companies, and just lost patent lawsuits brought onto them by VirnetX and Motorola.

    Oh, the irony! Apple is undergoing an ongoing crusade to stop its competitors from releasing their superior products around the world based on phantom “infringements” of their ridiculous “design” patents (most of them which are being thrown out and invalidated by the US Patent Office) and yet they are refusing to pay license fees to other companies for use of REAL technology patents?

    Just goes to show what a two-faced hypocritical anti-consumer monopolistic company Apple really is. Sadly when once Apple was the anti-Microsoft, Apple has now BECOME Microsoft, Version 2.0.

  • hanhothi

    That guy should be slammed in Jail!

  • dcdevito

    jury troll

  • flitzy

    Typical. I wonder how much Samsung paid the judge to make this decision – I wouldn’t put anything past Samsung these days. They’re the slimiest company these days next to Google.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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