Samsung has been on the winning side against Apple’s legal attacks around the globe – including the UK, Germany and The Netherlands. It’s only the US, Apple’s home turf, where it is facing some challenges. The biggest and the most infamous billion dollar verdict might have had a different outcome if Velvin Hogan was not part of that jury, believes Samsung and many others due to his perceived bias against Samsung.
Both Samsung and Apple have been arguing about when the opposing party learned about Hogan’s Seagate court case. Samsung seeks a new trial due to Hogan’s failure to disclose about other court cases, his ‘presumed’ bias against Samsung the way he ignored the court’s instructions and influenced the jury using his own technical expertise.
While Apple wanted Samsung to disclose when they learned bout jury foreman Hogan’s other court cases (and Samsung disclosed), Apple itself refused to entertain Samsung’s similar request.
Apple’s opposition fails to defeat the grounds Samsung has established for judgment, new trial or remittitur. This is the rare case where juror misconduct requires new trial because the jury foreman withheld crucial information at the very moment it was most important that he reveal it. Apple also fails to refute the evidentiary and legal errors warranting the Court’s relief. And review of the jury’s damages awards shows, down to the dollar, the serious errors that require remittitur.
Samsung also argues [pdf] that foreman Hogan’s bias does require a hearing and a new trial:
As post-trial developments have made clear, jury foreman Velvin Hogan deliberately concealed information about his prior litigation experience in response to this Court’s direct questioning about that subject. Had he answered truthfully, Samsung could have stricken him and prevented his introduction of extraneous information into the jury’s deliberations. Apple does not dispute that Samsung learned the key facts that Mr. Hogan withheld only after the verdict was reached. In suggesting that Samsung should have investigated the truthfulness of Mr. Hogan’s answer earlier, Apple invites unprecedented intrusion into juror’s affairs. While juror misconduct is a rare basis to void a jury verdict, this is the rare case in which this Court should grant such remedy.
Apple had earlier argued that:
Mr. Hogan honestly replied to the Court’s “yes-or-no” question about whether he had “ever been involved in a lawsuit” by raising his hand, disclosing a recent technology ownership dispute, and answering follow-up questions about that case. (Tr. 148:18-150:11.) He was not asked if there were other lawsuits or a bankruptcy, so he never failed to answer a question honestly. Neither the general “duty of candor” nor the two criminal cases that Samsung cites would have required Apple to disclose immaterial information about a juror.
As Groklaw’s Pamela Jones writes, “he [foreman] was not asked a yes/no question. He was asked if he has *ever* been involved in any litigation, not just the one he cared to mention. Ever means ever and it means all of them. If the judge moved on, he had a duty to raise his hand again and say, “I didn’t finish.” In truth, the judge asked more than once, stressing how important it was for the prospective jurors to tell about any such, so she could make sure they understood that prior knowledge of the law might not be current. So he had more than one opportunity to raise his hand.”
Did Hogan Influence The Verdict?
This case is far from over and seems to be the only case where Apple seemed to be winning and this victory owes a lot to a foreman why reportedly influenced the entire jury.
Samsung stated in its filing, “Mr. Hogan’s own statements to the media suffice if such a showing is required. Once inside the jury room, Mr. Hogan acted as a “de facto technical expert” who touted his high-tech experience to bring the divided jury together. Contrary to this Court’s instructions, he told other jurors incorrectly 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. He thus failed “to listen to the evidence, not to consider extrinsic facts, [and] to follow the judge’s instructions.”