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Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Samsung Demands Retrial Against Apple

Samsung wants a retrial of the case the company lost against Apple accusing the foreman of the jury of being "untruthful" and "biased".

Jury foreman Velvin Hogan, the foreman of the jury that recently handed Apple a $1 billion patent victory over Samsung, "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.

Accordin gto Wikipedia, 'voir dire' is a legal phrase that refers to a variety of procedures connected with jury trials. It generally refers to the process by which prospective jurors are questioned about their backgrounds and potential biases before being chosen to sit on a jury. It also refers to the process by which expert witnesses are questioned about their backgrounds and qualifications before being allowed to present their opinion testimony in court.

Specifically, Samsung accuses Hogan of failing to disclose that he had been involved in two lawsuits in the past. Hogan was sued by his former employer, hard drive manufacturer Seagate, for breach of contract after he failed to repay a promissory note in 1993 and filed for bankruptcy six months later, according to the filing.

Since Samsung has a "substantial strategic relationship with Seagate," this relationship "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 lawyers said in the filing.

"Mr. Hogan's failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in questioning," it said, adding that this would have triggered a motion to strike him from the list of jurors, either for cause or as a peremptory strike.

The jury foreman also remained silent when asked if he had strong feelings or opinions about the U.S. patent system or intellectual property laws, Samsung said. But after the verdict Hogan said that he wanted to be satisfied that verdict protected intellectual property rights and copyrights in order to send a message to the industry that patent infringement is not the right thing to do.

Finally, Hogan could have influenced the jury's decision, Samsung added. After the trial, Hogan said media interviews that he told his fellow jurors that an accused device infringes a design patent based on "look and feel", that a prior art reference could not be invalidating unless that reference was "interchangeable" and that invalidating prior art must be currently in use, according to the filing.

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