Judge Lucy Koh has denied Apple’s request that she sanction Samsung for releasing evidence to the public that she had denied for the trial. Apple had accused Samsung’s lead attorney, John Quinn, of trying taint the jury by releasing the data, but Judge Koh declined to sanction Samsung for the maneuver.
She did, however, retain the right to consider the issue further, but more than likely the issue is dead as far as Judge Koh is concerned. The San Jose Mercury News reported that she made the decision after polling each individual jury member on whether or not they had seen any news relating to the trial since they had last been in court on July 31st.
Samsung argued in court on Wednesday that it didn’t do anything wrong, and that releasing the evidence to the public was not only legal and appropriate, it was in keeping with Judge Koh’s commitment that this case would be open in keeping with the public’s great interest in the outcome.
Judge Koh’s rejection of Apple’s request for a sanction came despite reports that she was livid about Samsung’s actions. The Washington Post reported that Judge Koh said as part of her ruling that she was satisfied the jury could remain “fair and impartial.”
The evidence that Samsung believes is so important involves a designer who was tasked by Sir Jonathan Ive—currently Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design—to show what an iPhone designed by Sony might look like. Samsung believes this is proof that Apple actually copied Sony, which would then absolve Samsung of any charges that it copied Apple for some of its own Android smartphones.
The evidence was excluded because it was submitted after the discovery phase of the trial, and Judge Koh has been rigorous of enforcing the rules she established for the proceedings. Samsung has maintained that this evidence is critical to its case, so critical it didn’t submit it on time.
“The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design,” Samsung’s attorneys wrote in a statement accompanying the evidence release to the press. “Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.”