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Judge denies Samsung new trial despite 'troubling' Apple appeal to prejudice

post #1 of 65
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A U.S. district court judge on Friday entered an order denying motions for judgment in the landmark Apple v. Samsung patent trial, which is now moving through post-trial proceedings, saying that neither party's arguments are valid.

Apple v Samsung


In the order, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over two Apple v. Samsung patent trials in California, denied both parties' motions for judgments as a matter of law (JMOLs) including Samsung's request for new trial on the November retrial for damages vacated over jury error.

The 2013 retrial saw Apple awarded $290 million, which brings the total damages amount from the original Apple v. Samsung trial up to over $900 million. Each side argued, however, that the retrial jury's ruling was incorrect. Apple pushed for a larger award based on Samsung profits resulting from infringement, while Samsung moved to pay decreased damages and sought a new trial.

As for questions on damages awarded, Judge Koh quickly dismissed the entirety of Apple's motion and did much the same with Samsung's arguments. She did, however, take some time to explain a portion of one Samsung JMOL arguing the jury double counted lost profits and infringer's profits for the same infringing sales. In the end, it was determined that no double counting occurred.

In a breakdown of Judge Koh's order, FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller points out the jurist was unlikely to approve either JMOL motions on damages. The question of a retrial was also a "long shot," but one of arguments raised in the motion could impact Apple's strategy moving forward.

Samsung cited a number of arguments for a retrial, but the most interesting was the theory that Apple counsel appealed to racial, ethnic or national prejudice. As Mueller notes, Judge Koh found at least part of Apple's closing statement "troubling."

Samsung cited the following excerpt of Apple's closing argument as an appeal to prejudice:

We are extremely fortunate to live in what I'll call the Greater Bay Area. Not only is it beautiful, but we live in the center of one of the most vibrant economies in the world. Intel, Yahoo, Oracle, Facebook, eBay, and hundreds and hundreds of other companies, including Google, and including Apple, and these companies attract talented employees at every level. Even, we heard, Samsung has opened a research center here so that they can take advantage of the talent in this area.

The companies provide jobs. They create technology that improves the way people work. And the company -- and this economy supports an education system that is second to none in the world, Berkeley, Stanford, San Jose State, U.S. [sic] Santa Cruz, even Santa Clara where I went to school.

These educational institutions interact with this economy, interact with these companies and create a place that the whole world knows as Silicon Valley.

But let's be equally clear about one thing. Our vibrant economy absolutely depends on fair competition. It depends on a patent system that encourages inventors to invent, it encourages investors to invest, and it encourages employers to hire.

If we allow that system of law to decay, investors will not invest, people will not take risks, and our economy will disappear.

When I was young, I used to watch television on televisions that were manufactured in the United States. Magnavox, Motorola, RCA. These were real companies. They were well known and they were famous. They were creators. They were inventors. They were like the Apple and Google today.

But they didn't protect their intellectual property. They couldn't protect their ideas. And you all know the result. There are no American television manufacturers today."


During the trial, Samsung counsel objected to the above statement and moved for a mistrial. The court denied, but reminded jurors that their decision should not be "motivated by sympathies or prejudice," an instruction repeated throughout the trial.

Samsung also pointed to other instances of racially charged comments, such as Apple's reference to "Samsung Korea" instead of "Samsung." In her order, Judge Koh found no evidence that the jury's final decision was influenced by these "problematic" statements and therefore denied the retrial motion.

From Judge Koh's order:

"In sum, the Court finds that Apple counsel's comments do not warrant a mistrial. Nonetheless, the Court finds this situation troubling. Next month, these parties and these counsel are set to go to trial for a third time. Counsel are encouraged to be mindful of the important role that lawyers play in the actual and perceived fairness of our legal system as they prepare for and litigate the next round of this patent dispute."


Mueller says that Friday's order brings the first Apple v. Samsung post-trial proceedings closer to final judgment, which means it can then be appealed to a higher court.

Next up for Apple and Samsung, however, is a second California dispute over another set of devices and patents. The trial is scheduled to start on Mar. 31 and will again be presided over by Judge Koh.

post #2 of 65

$900M means basically nothing to either of these companies.

 

It would be like a judgement against me for like $5.

post #3 of 65
The only part of the closing that I'm "troubled" by is the part about the Bay Area being beautiful. True but useless information. The rest was absolutely spot on. Especially the last paragraph about no tv manufacturers... Yikes. It sounds as tho the Judge might think that Samsung has a legitimate point.

Why in the world would Samsung include the last paragraph in their appeal for a mistrial on prejudice? Isn't this the trial where Samsung began by admitting they stole the iPhone?
post #4 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by H2P View Post

 Yikes. It sounds as tho the Judge might think that Samsung has a legitimate point.

 

I don't think so. First, she did't buy the argument. Second, I think she did everyone a favor by cautioning the attorneys before someone does say something…mmm…stupid. In the heat-of-battle kind of thing if you know what I mean.

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post #5 of 65
Maybe Tim Cook should have used that 'mess it all up' lawyer spin merchant when he just said "Android is like Europe".
post #6 of 65
Hooray for Xenophobia and Racism!

Good job Apple :-/

Manufacturing went away from "the west" because people don't want to work in factories! In other countries the people have little choice. The west increases that pressure all the time. It's certainly a sad state of affairs, but not for Americans. TVs are no longer made in America? That's the whole point! Americans don't want to make TVs!
post #7 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post

Hooray for Xenophobia and Racism!

Good job Apple :-/

Manufacturing went away from "the west" because people don't want to work in factories! In other countries the people have little choice. The west increases that pressure all the time. It's certainly a sad state of affairs, but not for Americans. TVs are no longer made in America? That's the whole point! Americans don't want to make TVs!

People don't want to work in factories. Yep that must be it. It has nothing to do with cheap slave like labor overseas or thing like NAFTA which allows companies to import said goods into the US tax free.
post #8 of 65

There may have been Intellectual Property issues, but Sony produced quality televisions that were more reliable. They sold better without undercutting the retail price of their competitors.

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post #9 of 65

I didn't take the above statement as prejudice, they were just reminding the jurists that there are real consequences to not enforcing IP laws - it's not some "intellectual game" they're deciding.

post #10 of 65

"Counsel are encouraged to be mindful of the important role that lawyers play in the actual and perceived fairness of our legal system as they prepare for and litigate the next round of this patent dispute."

 

Americans stopped thinking our legal system is fair a long time ago.

post #11 of 65
Let's do Korean BBQ for lunch.

Oops, I said something racist. Mistrial. /s

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post #12 of 65

The TV comment could have been worded differently but I see no problem bringing nationalism into play. Apple is a US company and they continue to be treated unfairly by our judicial system. Yes, Samsung was finally found guilty by an American jury but the DOJ continues to find Apple guilty of everything they can dig up, leaving Samsung alone. Samsung continues to "work" the US legal system to their benefit and very few judges are willing to go against them. This smacks of reverse nationalism where the US judicial system doesn't want to get a foreign company/country upset, going against their own nations company. 

post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post
 

$900M means basically nothing to either of these companies.

 

It would be like a judgement against me for like $5.

 

It’s all about bragging rights and gotchas. Which ever side wins can legitimately claim the other is nefarious. It also speaks to future products in that the loser might be less likely to repeat their offense. It’s not about the money.

post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

From Judge Koh's order:

"In sum, the Court finds that Apple counsel's comments do not warrant a mistrial. Nonetheless, the Court finds this situation troubling. Next month, these parties and these counsel are set to go to trial for a third time. Counsel are encouraged to be mindful of the important role that lawyers play in the actual and perceived fairness of our legal system as they prepare for and litigate the next round of this patent dispute."

Such utter, self-important, finger-wagging BS.

 

Judges like her and Cote are substantially more responsible for mucking up the '...actual and perceived fairness of our legal system...' than some silly lawyer.


Edited by anantksundaram - 2/8/14 at 8:40am
post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

I didn't take the above statement as prejudice, they were just reminding the jurists that there are real consequences to not enforcing IP laws - it's not some "intellectual game" they're deciding.

With lawyers, it's always an" intellectual game".

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post #16 of 65
timmydax:
Americans sure as hell do want jobs making televisions. Our business leaders merely realized they could skim a lot more profit off the top, into their own bank accounts, if they made the TVs with slave-labor wages instead of living-wage wages. The entire developed world - Japan, US, Canada, EU - all need to change our trade laws to prevent products made with slave-labor wages from being sold in our markets. We can make everything we need in the developed world. It's simple greed that has allowed our economies to sputter to a halt - because nobody except a small, elite few has any disposable income anymore.
So you're dead wrong - people are very much interested in having jobs making TVs. What they're not interested in is living in a tar paper shack while doing so.
post #17 of 65

TBell - you are absolutely correct. That is THE root cause of our global economic malaise. Nobody has any disposable income anymore. Everyone is living on subsistence-level wages with no hope of ever having more. It's disgusting. Corporations have completely bought off the developed world's politicians. We need to get money out of politics so my vote counts as much as a billionaire's.

post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS99 View Post
 
We need to get money out of politics so my vote counts as much as a billionaire's.

Perhaps that will help. But your vote counts only if you actually go out and vote. Why do the less well-off Americans vote in such small numbers?

post #19 of 65
The Apple lawyer was making an appeal to nationalism and self-interest, not race, and that's an old favorite of politicians everywhere. Nothing illegal or troubling about it.

Did you know that as a juror you can ignore a judges instructions and you can ignore the law if the law is unjust? Google "Fully Informed Jury".

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post #20 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


People don't want to work in factories. Yep that must be it. It has nothing to do with cheap slave like labor overseas or thing like NAFTA which allows companies to import said goods into the US tax free.

 

While NAFTA surely contributes to all this stuff, it is definitely true that Americans don't want to be sitting there in a factory all day assembling iPhones which, btw, is a really sucky job no matter what you're paid for it.

 

An analogous situation is what happened in Alabama when they passed some draconian laws concerning undocumented workers.  Those workers left Alabama, and went to other states.  This left the farmers in Alabama with no one to pick fruit and do other work like that.  They tried and tried to get Americans to do it, but no one wanted those jobs.  What happened?  Crops just died, because there was no one to work them.

post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Perhaps that will help. But your vote counts only if you actually go out and vote. Why do the less well-off Americans vote in such small numbers?

 

There are lots of reasons.  But here are a few:

 

-- Increasing anti-voter laws.

-- The fact that, against all sense, we have elections during the week.  Why we don't have elections from Friday through Sunday, I have no idea.

-- Most Americans don't feel as if they have any real influence.

post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

 

There are lots of reasons.  But here are a few:

 

-- Increasing anti-voter laws.

-- The fact that, against all sense, we have elections during the week.  Why we don't have elections from Friday through Sunday, I have no idea.

-- Most Americans don't feel as if they have any real influence.

Those are excuses.

post #23 of 65
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
Those are excuses.

 

Absolutely true. But I still feel that Election Day should be a federal holiday. Be able to take the day, go to your local voting station, and educate yourself on the issues with candidate information put up there. Have regulations on what information can be put there by each candidate (your content may not speak of other candidates in any capacity, any issue addressed by one candidate must be addressed by all, etc.).

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post #24 of 65

Yes, it is troubling that there are no American television manufacturers.

post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 
But I still feel that Election Day should be a federal holiday. 

While I agree, that's not something that changed overnight. The fact is, about 67% 56% of whites vote, 50% of blacks, 20% of hispanics.

post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Those are excuses.
Different priorities, not an excuse.

Achieving very little in an area that you might not know a lot about while losing a working day when you're "less well-off" could be a big deal.

The more well-off often have more work flexibility to take a few hours or a day to go vote without any significant loss, and they're likely more educated and motivated to.

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post #27 of 65
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Did you know that as a juror you can ignore a judges instructions and you can ignore the law if the law is unjust?

That's good to know but also know that doing so decreases the chances of a jury's decision standing up to appeal. "Unjust" is in the eyes of the beholder. If a jury wishes to have their decision stick, then they need to stick to the law and follow instructions as much as possible (still without guarantee, of course).

post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS99 View Post

timmydax:
Americans sure as hell do want jobs making televisions. Our business leaders merely realized they could skim a lot more profit off the top, into their own bank accounts, if they made the TVs with slave-labor wages instead of living-wage wages. The entire developed world - Japan, US, Canada, EU - all need to change our trade laws to prevent products made with slave-labor wages from being sold in our markets. We can make everything we need in the developed world. It's simple greed that has allowed our economies to sputter to a halt - because nobody except a small, elite few has any disposable income anymore.
So you're dead wrong - people are very much interested in having jobs making TVs. What they're not interested in is living in a tar paper shack while doing so.

I don't know - that may be true to some degree in a number of industries, but the U.S. was making pretty crappy televisions, and not improving them (Magnavox? Zenith?). I don't know if the Asian companies like Sony stole American IP, but they sure did improve the quality and functionality of televisions. Of course, after that came all the cheap Asian TVs that are still built today.

post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Different priorities, not an excuse.

Then, don't whine when public policy doesn't go your way.

post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post
 

I don't know - that may be true to some degree in a number of industries, but the U.S. was making pretty crappy televisions, and not improving them (Magnavox? Zenith?). I don't know if the Asian companies like Sony stole American IP, but they sure did improve the quality and functionality of televisions

???

If the U.S. companies were making crappy televisions and not improving them, what IP would be stolen from these companies that would improve televisions in Asia?

post #31 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post
 

The TV comment could have been worded differently but I see no problem bringing nationalism into play. Apple is a US company and they continue to be treated unfairly by our judicial system. Yes, Samsung was finally found guilty by an American jury but the DOJ continues to find Apple guilty of everything they can dig up, leaving Samsung alone. Samsung continues to "work" the US legal system to their benefit and very few judges are willing to go against them. This smacks of reverse nationalism where the US judicial system doesn't want to get a foreign company/country upset, going against their own nations company. 

It's is a court proceeding, not a policy debate. The DOJ actions have absolutely nothing to do with the Apple/Samsung trial. In the U.S. court system (unlike China, Korea and other places), EVERY company deserves fair treatment, whether it's American or foreign. For a lawyer to appeal to nationalism is prejudicial, and not allowed. It should be the same verdict as if it were Apple v. Google instead of Apple v. Samsung. Of course, judges can make mistakes, issue bad rulings, or show bias, and that's what appeals courts are for (hopefully that will play out in the ebook case).

 

As far as what the Apple lawyer said, it is over the line, but not too extreme. He should have worded it differently so it didn't focus on the Amreican vs. foreign manufacturers issue.

post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Those are excuses.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Then, don't whine when public policy doesn't go your way.

 

They are not excuses, they are explanations.  If, for instance, you don't have a picture ID in states that now require them, you can't vote.  That is not an excuse, it's a fact.  And for some people it is very difficult (either because they lack the proper paperwork or because it's expensive for them) to get those IDs.

 

The fact that voting takes place on what for most people is a workday is not entirely fair or sane.

 

Etc.

 

And I know that last statement wasn't directed at me, but I never miss an election.  OK, once I did, but I had a fever of like 102 and was throwing up all day.  It was something like 13 degrees out.  I decided it might be best to stay in that day.  But that's the ONLY election of any kind I've missed in the 26 years since turned 18.  Also, I don't "whine" about policy.  I do my share of complaining -- some would say I do more than my share, and they are probably right.  But an educated, well thought out complaint is not "whining."

post #33 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post
 

They are not excuses, they are explanations.  If, for instance, you don't have a picture ID in states that now require them, you can't vote.  That is not an excuse, it's a fact.  And for some people it is very difficult (either because they lack the proper paperwork or because it's expensive for them) to get those IDs.

 

The fact that voting takes place on what for most people is a workday is not entirely fair or sane.

 

Etc.

You really should bother to look at some data, and over time, before spouting off. The association between low voter turnout and income levels in the US was pretty much the same before picture IDs, workdays, paperwork, and so on.

 

Btw, this association is not the case in all countries. In countries like India, the reverse is true: the poor turn out in higher numbers than the well-off.

 

I think laziness and apathy in the US are perhaps more important factors.

post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post
 
But an educated, well thought out complaint is not "whining."

Perhaps you should read the whole thread before jumping in mid-way. I was specifically responding to JAS99's comment above that said: "Nobody has any disposable income anymore. Everyone is living on subsistence-level wages with no hope of ever having more. It's disgusting. Corporations have completely bought off the developed world's politicians. We need to get money out of politics so my vote counts as much as a billionaire's."

post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post

Hooray for Xenophobia and Racism!

Good job Apple :-/

Manufacturing went away from "the west" because people don't want to work in factories! In other countries the people have little choice. The west increases that pressure all the time. It's certainly a sad state of affairs, but not for Americans. TVs are no longer made in America? That's the whole point! Americans don't want to make TVs!

This is just ignorant.

post #36 of 65
It's not racist to point out that Korean firms have a bad habit of stealing IP. It's a cultural fact. They're proud of their copying. They do it shamelessly.

Hyundai, Kia, Daiwoo, Samsung, LG, Hankook - Look at their products. Every one a copy of one or more successful products from someone else's hard work and talent.

Asian copycat culture is a typical Stockholm Syndrome. We're so used to it we just assume it's normal and acceptable. It isn't.
post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splif View Post

This is just ignorant.

Explanation?

Perhaps I should have explained my point further. It's not that Americans can't make TVs (obviously), or that they just don't. They won't. Why? It's economically unviable in that market. TVs are too cheap to be able to pay the workers a fair "western" living wage to assemble them. Americans won't accept that. People in developing countries have to; they have little choice.
post #38 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


People don't want to work in factories. Yep that must be it. It has nothing to do with cheap slave like labor overseas or thing like NAFTA which allows companies to import said goods into the US tax free.

 

According to Tim Cook it has nothing to do with cheap slave like labor, but that the skilled labor is over in China and not here in the US.  Apparently Americans don't have the skills to perform jobs which are traditionally considered unskilled labor.

 

Source:  http://rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/06/15708290-apple-ceo-tim-cook-announces-plans-to-manufacture-mac-computers-in-usa?lite

 

I would have to agree with your view over Tim Cook's.

post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Then, don't whine when public policy doesn't go your way.
Aggressive. I always vote and no one was whining.

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post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

You really should bother to look at some data, and over time, before spouting off. The association between low voter turnout and income levels in the US was pretty much the same before picture IDs, workdays, paperwork, and so on.

 

Btw, this association is not the case in all countries. In countries like India, the reverse is true: the poor turn out in higher numbers than the well-off.

 

I think laziness and apathy in the US are perhaps more important factors.

 

Oh, laziness and apathy are a HUGE part.  And I think part of what causes the apathy is the lack of education and the rampant ignorance in this country.  In countries like Finland and S. Korea, where the education level is very high, the turnout is higher than it is in the US.

 

Also, I believe that our present system of intense gerrymandering does not help.  In the vast majority of districts across the country the result is known long before the election ever happens.  Even without gerrymandering that can be the case.  My district, for example, in SE Michigan hasn't elected a Republican in my entire lifetime I don't think.  They could resurrect Lincoln, and he lose here too.

 

Or look at Henry Waxman's district, essentially Beverly Hills.  He's retiring, so it's an open seat this year.  The odds against a Republican winning there are better than the odds against me dating Maria Sharapova.  That should tell you something. :)

 

So, I think that that contributes in part to the apathy as well: People, whether it's in say my district, or somewhere in the deep South like Mississippi, already know the result.

 

Finally, when it comes to the Presidential vote, the Electoral system doesn't help.  Your vote doesn't count as 1 vote under the Electoral system.  Again, let's take my state of Michigan.  We have 9.8M people approximately.  Now, let's say that Joe Smith (D) is running against Rebecca Jones (R).  One of them is going to take all 16 electoral votes, the other will get none.  So, if (this would never happen, but ...) 8M people vote and Smith gets 4,000,001 votes and Jones gets 3,999,999 votes, then Smith gets 16 electoral votes and Jones gets exactly 0.

 

I've spoken to people over the years who feel disenfranchised by the system we have.  They feel that, "Hey, I voted for Jones, she lost by 2 votes out of 8M, and she gets NOTHING!  Why did I even bother?"  Now, obviously these people understand the system, which isn't necessarily the case.  But I can understand why they are somewhat bitter and feel as though, in the end, "It doesn't matter."

 

This is even more important of a factor in states like Mississippi where a Democrat would never carry the state, or California where a Republican would never carry the state.  California has 53 reps, 38 of which are Democrats.  Conversely, Mississippi has 4 representatives, 3 of which are Republicans.

 

So, not only is your vote for President probably not going to be relevant, but your vote for your representative (or Senator for that matter) probably won't be either.

 

So, yes, I believe there are a ton of factors at work.  And I think the fact that the states have become so solidly either red or blue isn't helping.

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