Samsung Says Juror Misconduct Merits New Apple Patent Trial
Los Angeles – Samsung Electronics Co. on Tuesday accused the foreman of the jury that handed down a $1 billion patent infringement award in favor of Apple Inc. of lying about his past involvement in litigation and past ties to Samsung’s law firm, saying the jury verdict must be scrapped in favor of a new trial.
Jury foreman Velvin Hogan failed to answer truthfully during the voir dire portion of jury selection, Samsung argued in its matter for judgment as a matter of law and a new trial.
When asked by the court whether he was ever involved in a lawsuit, Hogan disclosed one lawsuit but failed to mention two others, including one in which his former employer Seagate Technology Inc. sued him for breach of contract after he failed to repay a promissory note, Samsung claims.
Samsung has a “substantial strategic relationship” with Seagate, which culminated in the widely publicized 2011 sale of a Samsung division to Seagate in a deal worth $1.375 billion, the motion says. Samsung is now the single largest direct shareholder of Seagate, it says.
The attorney who sued Hogan on Seagate’s behalf is the husband of a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, the law firm that is representing Samsung in the Apple litigation, acording to Samsung. Samsung should have been allowed to explore those ties in questioning, it claims.
Hogan’s public statements also suggest that he failed to answer the court’s questions truthfully in order to secure a seat on the jury, in which case bias is presumed, Samsung says.
His self-reported conduct during the jury deliberations presents the reasonable possibility that extraneous material could have affected the verdict, according to Samsung.
“Mr. Hogan’s conduct during voir dire and jury deliberations must be fully examined in a hearing with all jurors and can be cured only by a grant of new trial,” Samsung’s motion says.
Hogan, for his part, told Bloomberg News there was no misconduct whatsoever, saying the court’s instructions only required disclosure of any litigation within the last 10 years, and the Seagate case fell well outside that range.
He said he was surprised Samsung didn’t know about the litigation history given the connection to Quinn Emanuel the company cited in its motion, Bloomberg reported.
The accusations and request for a new trial come one day after Samsung asked to add the iPhone 5 to another case in its ongoing infringement war with Apple.
The California federal judge overseeing the litigation also lifted a sales ban on Monday barring Samsung from purveying its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, at the direction of the Federal Circuit.
Posted in: Patent Infringement