Samsung files motion to trash verdict due to jury misconduct

Samsung may finally get a break from its massive US $1 billion-loss to rival Apple after revealing that the foreman of the jury did not tell the court his previous litigation with Seagate Technology, a company that Samsung invested billions of dollars before.

Velvin Hogan, the jury foreman, was employed by Seagate before the company sued him leading to his filing for personal bankruptcy in 1993. Samsung argued that he should have mentioned his personal involvement in the litigation with his former employer to the judge and also during the jury selection.

“Samsung has a substantial strategic relationship with Seagate, which culminated last year in the publicized sale of a division to Seagate in a deal worth $1.375 billion, making Samsung the single largest direct shareholder of Seagate,” Samsung said in its motion.

Samsung cited its well-publicized acquisition of one of Seagate’s divisions that involved a $1.375-billion deal, making it the biggest shareholder of the the company.

The South Korean company is trying to shake off the enormous verdict given by the San Jose, California jury, declaring that Samsung violated Apple’s patents on mobile devices.

Samsung said in the filing that Hogan should have notified the court about his Seagate litigation.

“Mr. Hogan’s failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in questioning.”

Samsung had already tried to target the jury which deliberated on the landmark case by arguing that interviews given to news agencies by jurors was  a misconduct that could have influenced the verdict.

Manuel Ilagan, one of the jurors who spoke with CNET a day after the verdict was handed down, said: “Hogan was jury foreman. He had experience. He owned patents himself…so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier.”

Hogan was said to have talked to other members of the jury despite instructions that jurors should  use the evidence presented before them.

In his personal defense, Bloomberg said that Hogan denied there was any misconduct since the court ordered them to disclose only litigations that  members of the jury were involved within the last 10 years. Hogan’s 1993 bankruptcy case fell well outside court instructions.

The over-a-billion dollar verdict delivered last 24th of August against Samsung is a global fight for dominance in the highly lucrative smartphone market. The two biggest rivals are waging patent wars against each other across four continents.

A nine-member panel handed Apple a $1.05 billion victory over Samsung after the latter was found to have violated six patents of Apple.

Hogan disclosed to the court that he had been to three juries in civil cases and had spent seven years working with lawyers to secure a patent for his “video compression software”. He was employed by Memorex Corp., Storage Technology Corp., and Digital Equipment Corp., all of them computer hard-drive companies.

source: CNET | Bloomberg