Manufacturer claims jury foreman in case that saw Apple awarded damages for patent infringement may have been biased
Samsung has called for a retrial in its patent case with Apple, after claiming the foreman of the jury may have been biased by a past lawsuit of his own.
Apple was awarded $1bn (£652m) in damages by a Californian court in August, after it ruled Samsung infringed on patents.
Samsung said jury foreman Velvin Hogan did not inform the court pre-trial that he was sued for breach of contract by computer storage manufacturer Seagate in 1993, a company Samsung now holds a significant stake in. The verdict resulted in Hogan to file for personal bankruptcy.
The lawyer who represented Seagate in that case is the husband of a partner at law firm Quinn Emanuel, which represented Samsung.
In a filing published on Tuesday, Samsung said: “Mr Hogan’s failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in the questioning.
Samsung said this had stopped its legal team from preventing his participation as a juror. It added that it saw signs of bias in Hogan’s post-trial media interviews.
“Mr Hogan’s public statements suggest that he failed to answer the court’s question truthfully ‘in order to secure a seat on the jury’, in which case bias is presumed.”
The Korean manufacturer said Hogan had told the interviewer that he wanted to “send a message to the industry at large that patent infringing is not the right thing to do” and “make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist”.
Samsung added that Hogan had used “incorrect and extraneous legal standards that had no place in the jury room”.
The manufacturer also asked for Hogan’s behaviour in pre-trial questioning to be fully examined in a hearing with all jurors and can be cured only by a grant of a new trial”.
Hogan told Bloomberg last month there had been no misconduct in the trial. In another interview with Reuters, he said he had not talked about the Seagate case as he was not asked to disclose every case he had been involved in.
However, on Samsung questioning his impartiality, he said: “They’ve got a job to do and I don’t hold that against them.”
In the filings, Samsung also challenged the jury’s findings that it had wilfully infringed Apple;s patents and again said its case that Apple’s asserted patents were invalid. It also argued there was insufficient evidence to support the damaged award in the case and called for remittance.
Apple has so far not commented on the filings. The next hearing in the case will take place on December 6.