In the wake of Apple’s patent infringement victory against Samsung in August, the Korean electronics company argued that the verdict be overturned on the grounds of jury misconduct related to the jury foreman. The judge presiding over the case agreed to review Samsung’s motion on the subject and, on Friday, Apple responded to the motion claiming that it had no knowledge of the jury foreman’s past or alleged biases.
Samsung argued that the foreman, Velvin Hogan, withheld material information during the jury selection process, including information related to a past lawsuit with an employer now owned by Seagate that forced Mr. Hogan into bankruptcy. Because Seagate now enjoys a strategic partnership with Samsung, the Korean company argued, Mr. Hogan was not fit to render a fair verdict due to his past adversarial relationship with the company.
While the connection between the litigation, which occurred nearly 20 years ago, and the current relationship of his former employer to Samsung is tenuous, court transcripts reveal that Mr. Hogan did indeed fail to disclose the lawsuit when directly asked by the court during the jury selection process.
Further complicating the matter, Samsung argued in its motion that Apple may have known about this purportedly favorable situation and the company petitioned the court to force Apple to disclose any information it had related to Mr. Hogan. “In order to have a full and fair opportunity to reply to Apple’s ‘waiver’ argument, Samsung is entitled to know when Apple first learned of Mr. Hogan’s undisclosed Seagate litigation, including whether it knew of Mr. Hogan’s misstatements to the Court prior to Samsung’s post-trial motion and nonetheless concealed that knowledge from the Court," Samsung’s motion stated.
Apple formally responded late Friday, as reported by Ars Technica. “Apple has not identified any Apple attorney or other member of the Apple litigation teams was aware that Mr. Hogan had been a party to lawsuits involving Seagate until after the conclusion of trial, when Samsung raised the matter in connection with its post-trial motions,” Apple told the court.
Going further, and attempting to squash any notion of jury misconduct at all, Apple elaborated: “Apple does not accuse juror Velvin Hogan of misconduct - because there was none – so what Apple knew and when regarding Mr. Hogan’s lawsuit with Seagate nearly two decades ago is irrelevant to any issue raised by Samsung’s post-trial motions. Apple does not contend that any past relationship between Mr. Hogan and Seagate, or any lawsuit between them, is anything remotely close to support a challenge for cause.”
Judge Koh, who presided over the trial and most of the pre- and post-trial motions, will hear arguments on the misconduct motions Thursday, December 6.
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