We called this one in the early stages of the trial as Samsung’s legal team began laying the ground for a rolling ambush on Judge Lucy Koh and her favoritism of Apple. Now Samsung has filed a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and a new trial as an alternative. Samsung’s filing is asking for this under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 50 and 59. Their grounds for this motion are fairly straight forward; they were treated unfairly during the proceedings. The actions of Judge Koh during the trial became so extreme that they were almost comical. Samsung’s team caught on to this early and started pushing Judge Koh to see just how far she would take it.
Apple has become very brave in the light of their apparent victory over Samsung in Judge Lucy Koh’s court room. Despite potential issues with the verdict including evidence that the jury ignored the explicit instructions that were directly read to them by Judge Koh and written in several places, Apple is riding on a wave of euphoria that has caused them to expand their attack against Samsung. This was not overlay surprising as Apple is confident that the US population is ignorant of the concept of Prior Art, the differences between being inspired by a design and copying as well as some of the basic concepts behind software development (and that nagging little detail that prevents you from copyrighting a UI).
The fate of Samsung and Apple are in the hands of the jury now… not really. You see no matter the outcome of this particular part of the greater drama the losing side will appeal. This is both a good and a bad thing for both companies. In the case of Samsung losing verdict allows them to be able to bring more witnesses and to also find some of Apple’s patent invalid. For Apple a loss would be a little more damaging, but they are already working on improving their reputation with improvements in their partner Foxconn’s factories. This is the problem that we face right now with the US legal system. It is sort of backwards and in many cases does not understand the items that it is supposed to govern and rule on.
It seems that there is the potential for peace after all between Samsung and Apple. As we have told you over the past few weeks, the patent trial between Samsung and Apple has been a much more tactical event than the show we expected. Both sides have presented many witnesses to support their claims, but were hampered by a time limit imposed by Judge Lucy Koh. The time limit is not unheard of in cases like this as it prevents either side from trying to monopolize time and can help keep things to the facts. We would have to say that Judge Koh’s decision was at least partially successful.
Although I am writing this article today the facts behind it have spanned the course of a few years going back to when Steve Jobs first fell out of the public eye and Tim Cook took over the day to day duties as CEO (although he did not have the title). At the time there were subtle indications that things were not going well at Apple even with the record sales and massive money pile in the bank. Some of the items that kept showing up in the media were about what would happen to Apple if and when Steve Jobs was gone. The articles a speculation were backed up every time there was a rumor about Steve Jobs’ health and Apple stock took a hit.
There is a lot going on with the Samsung V Apple trial today as we head toward the final summations and then a jury decision. As we told you yesterday Judge Koh would like to see both sides compromise or to make peace entirely. She claims that there is danger to both sides if the trial goes to a jury. Although they jury cannot truly decide the validity of any patents in question they can still determine if one or the other has infringed. It is a situation that could see both sides impacted.
The Samsung V Apple trial is still going on, but what we have noticed is that now that Apple is finished with their side of the story many sites that were carrying the Apple flag have stopped covering it. As Apple paraded one witness after another we saw so many headlines proclaiming that Apple had won with this or that witness that is became comical. This is despite the fact that in many cases the actual experts felt that the key witnesses either had a neutral effect on Apple’s case or ended up slightly in favor of Samsung (with Peter Bressler and Terry Musika being two of the worst).
When we got into the lab this morning and started checking things out we stumbled across something that was simply shocking. At appears that Judge Lucy Koh has decided to bar testimony of the Samsung designer that started their move to more simple designs. Her claim is that because she did not design any of the phones that Apple claims are infringing her testimony will not be of value: “The risk of undue prejudice to Apple outweighs the probative value of Ms. Park’s testimony”.