US Court Investigates Apple Samsung Patent Trial ‘Bias’ Claims

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Patent lawsuit rumbles on as Samsung claims jury foreman was dishonest

A US federal court has said that it will investigate claims that a member of the jury that awarded Apple £664 million in damages over Samsung’s alleged patent infringement was biased.

Samsung has called for the decision to be dismissed as jury foreman Velvin Hogan did not disclose that he filed for bankruptcy in 1993 and had been sued by his former employer Seagate Technology, with which Samsung has a “substantial strategic relationship.

Hogan has denied the claims, stating that he was only required to disclose litigation during the past ten years and said that he answered all questions honestly.

Apple Samsung patent trial goes on

Hogan told Bloomberg that Samsung had every opportunity to question him and that he is surprised that the company didn’t know about the litigation, given that the husband of the partner of the law firm representing the Korean manufacturer filed the complaint on Seagate’s behalf.

The lawsuit relates to a claim that Hogan breached a contract over a loan Seagate says it made to Hogan for $25,000.

Hogan added that he wondered whether Samsung “let me in the jury just to have an excuse for a new trial if it didn’t go in their favour,” although the company says it had no idea of Hogan’s history until after the verdict.

It has been noted that if Hogan is found to have answered honestly, then Samsung will have a very difficult task of proving misconduct.

The £664 million awarded to Apple was less than the £1.6 billion it was demanding, but still represents a significant blow to Samsung. Apple has since asked the court in San Jose, California to award it with an additional $707 million (£436m), to compensate for “damage to the iPhone’s distinctive product identity” done by Samsung.

Apple has also asked for a number of Samsung products to be banned in the US, although it will have to wait until December to find out if this will happen.

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