Today sees another entry in the ongoing legal battle between smartphone giants Samsung Electronics and Apple, which have been suing each other on multiple fronts alleging the infringement of assorted patents. In the latest development, reports Loek Essers of the IDG News Service, Samsung is challenging the conduct of the jury that awarded $1 billion in damages to Apple and is demanding a do-over:
Jury foreman Velvin Hogan, “failed to answer truthfully during ‘voir dire,'” Samsung’s lawyers said in a document filed with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California on Tuesday.
(Click here to read “Samsung claims jury misconduct, demands retrial against Apple“)
In short, Samsung says Hogan didn’t disclose that he’d been sued by a former employer, Seagate, in 1993 and that, because Seagate had a strategic relationship with Samsung and, last year, Samsung became Seagate’s largest shareholder, Hogan was in a conflict and his failure to disclose the issue raises an issue of bias.
Hogan certainly has some explaining to do and should have fully disclosed his history, but it seems like a bit of a stretch to think this should lead to a re-try of the case. Although, if you were on the hook for $1 billion, you’d be looking for any opportunity to take another shot as well.
Regardless of the outcome, the ongoing drama between Samsung and Apple does highlight the need for substantial reform of the modern patent system. Companies need to spend more time innovating and less time litigating.