published Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Jurors to resume deliberations in Apple case

  • photo
    People wait in line to get inside for the Apple and Samsung trial during a lunch break at a federal courthouse in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. After three weeks of listening to technology experts, patent professionals and company executives debate the complicated legal claims of Apple Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., a jury of nine men and women are set to decide one of the biggest technology disputes in history.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Jurors were set to begin their second day of deliberations Thursday in a multibillion dollar patent infringement case pitting Apple against Samsung over the design of iPhones and iPads.

After a three-week federal trial in San Jose, a jury of seven men and two women picked from a pool of Silicon Valley residents will try to decide if Samsung Electronics Co. ripped off Apple Inc. designs or whether Apple wronged Samsung.

With so much money and market clout at stake, few experts were expecting a quick verdict. A decision likely won't come anytime soon, according to jury experts, attorneys and courtroom observers.

"This case has huge implications," said University of Notre Dame Law Professor Mark P. McKenna. "It could result in injunctions against both companies" involving the sales of products.

It took the judge more than two hours to read the 109 pages of instructions to the jury. As a verdict is reached, jurors must fill out a 20-page form that includes dozens of check-off boxes.

"The verdict form is crazy," said Karen Lisko, who runs a jury consulting company that specializes in patent trials. "It's incredibly complicated."

Jurors have several different smartphones and computer tablets in the jury room to help them determine which device is alleged to have violated what patent.

Apple argues that Samsung should pay the Cupertino-based company $2.5 billion for ripping off its iPhone and iPad technology when it marketed competing devices.

Attorneys for Samsung asked the jury to award it $399 million after claiming Apple used Samsung technology without proper compensation.

Lisko said it could take the jury an entire day just to devise a routine and system to sift through the facts and began actual deliberations.

"The first day is usually very messy," she said.

It took jurors more than a week to reach a verdict in another major patent case, Google v. Oracle. That San Francisco panel decided in May that Google did infringe Oracle's patents related to the Java computer language, but the panel awarded no damages after it couldn't come to a unanimous agreement on several other points.

During closing arguments Tuesday, Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Samsung was having a "crisis of design" after the launch of the iPhone, and executives with the South Korean company were determined to illegally cash in on the success of the revolutionary device.

Samsung's lawyer countered that the technology giant was simply and legally giving consumers what they want: Smart phones with big screens. They say they didn't violate any of Apple's patents and further claimed that Apple's claimed innovations were actually created by other companies.

The case went to the jury after last-minute talks between chief executives failed to resolve the dispute.

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