January 17, 2013 Articles

The Billion-Dollar Question: Bias or Misconduct?

Federal court dismisses Samsung's motion for a new trial claiming juror misconduct by foreperson

By Cynthia R. Cohen

Apple v. Samsung Verdict

The Apple v. Samsung August 2012 verdict dealt with infringement of Apple’s iPhone by Samsung’s Galaxy’s phone. A California jury returned a verdict in favor of Apple for Samsung’s infringement and dilution of a range of patents and trade dresses. The jury verdict put Samsung on the hook for $1 billion. Samsung filed a motion for a new trial claiming juror misconduct by the foreperson.

Was there juror bias in this Apple v. Samsung case? Absolutely. Was it juror misconduct? According to U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh, it was not. In federal court, despite statements made post-verdict, jurors cannot impeach themselves as to the mental processes in decision-making. While the foreperson was biased, the threshold for misconduct was not met.

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