Samsung v Apple: Steve Jobs and the Jury

Karen Haslam
31 July, 2012
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Jury can use ‘ordinary eyes’ to view Apple patents

US District Judge Lucy Koh doesn’t think that the jurors in the Apple versus Samsung case will need any help understanding the drawings filed as part of the companies patent applications. She said the drawings can “speak for themselves” and the jurors will be able to use “the eye of an ordinary observer” to decide if Samsung copied the design of Apple’s devices.

Koh believes this will allow the jury to give “such attention as a purchaser usually gives,” to the product design.

Apple hopes the patent drawings will illustrate that Apple owns features like the shape of the iPad and the black-coloured surface of the iPhone, while Samsung had hoped that the jury would be provided with detailed legal instructions about how to decipher the patents.

Even if the jury concludes that Samsung is guilty of copying Apple, it is still possible that they may also find Apple guilty of copying Sony designs for a prototype smartphone, as argued by Samsung, notes news website Gigaom.

Jurors will also be asked whether Apple infringed Samsung’s patents, which Apple argues are Standards Essential Patents (SEP), subject to licence on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory ‘FRAND’ terms.

Judge rules ‘gratuitous’ Steve Jobs images are allowed

Judge Koh in a separate ruling has decided against Samsung’s request that there are too many photos of Apple’s late co-founder and CEO featured in the opening slides of Apple’s case.

She ruled that because each of the images of Steve Jobs “is relevant to Apple’s iPhone design patent and trade dress claims and is not unduly prejudicial,” writes Foss Patents.

Samsung objected to images of Steve Jobs appearing in Slide Nos. 6, 7, 12, 16, and 29 of Apple’s Opening Presentation, claiming: “These gratuitous images have no evidentiary value and have been asserted in order to turn the trial into the popularity contest that the Court prohibited”.

Samsung was basing its request on a previous ruling that “Evidence related to Steve Jobs will generally be excluded unless it is specifically relevant to the IP rights at issue in the case, although the Court will make that determination on a case-by-case basis,” notes Foss Patents.

The case is 11-08146, Apple vs. Samsung Electronics, in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

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