Samsung Asks for New Trial in Apple Patent Infringement Case

Mobile device manufacturer Samsung has asked a federal judge to set aside a $1.05 billion jury verdict over Samsung’s infringement of Apple patents and documents just filed hint at allegations of jury misconduct.

Samsung filed documents in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., asking a judge to set aside the Aug. 24 verdicts against the company in a patent suit brought by Apple, as Samsung alludes to possible jury misconduct in the case.

In recently filed documents, Samsung argues that “no reasonable jury” would support Apple’s claims that Samsung violated patents for the iPhone and iPad in the design of several Samsung smartphones and tablet computers, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the trial, has set a hearing date for sometime in December to go over these and other motions from both sides that have been filed since the verdicts were handed down.

While some of the motions in this latest filing were issues brought up during the three-week trial, the Mercury News reports that some sections of this latest filing are redacted. But a second document, filed Sept. 24, asks Koh to bar any "further communication with jurors who served during the trial until the matters raised by this motion have finally been resolved."

The second document also refers to commentary on the topic of jury misconduct from Susan Estrich, a Samsung lawyer who is a well-known TV news legal commentator and was the campaign manager for Democrat Michael Dukakis’s unsuccessful run for president in 1988.

The newspaper reports that its reporter had a brief e-mail exchange with jury foreman Velvin Hogan who stated "There was no jury misconduct at all.” The jury took three days to deliberate and was required to render specific verdicts involving multiple Samsung devices, determining whether each of them violated or did not violate Apple patents.

Apple also filed new motions in the case in recent days, asking Koh for a permanent injunction against the sale of more than two dozen Samsung products including the Galaxy S II smartphone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. In addition, Apple asked for another $535 million in damages based on the jury’s verdicts finding multiple instances of infringement.

After the verdicts, Apple filed yet another request for an injunction barring the sale of still more Samsung products, including the Samsung Galaxy S III, which went on sale earlier this year and has been very successful for Samsung. Samsung said it expects to sell 30 million units or more of the new S III in 2012. Estimates were that Apple could sell up to 5 million units of its new iPhone 5 in the first three days since its debut Sept. 21, but that sales of the phone fell short of that forecast, reportedly due to supply shortages.

The Mercury News reported that requests for new trials are rarely granted but that these motions are considered part of Samsung’s legal strategy to appeal the San Jose verdicts to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. Normally verdicts in Northern California District Court are sent to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, but the Washington, D.C., court specializes in reviewing patent cases.