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8/1/2012
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Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure

After judge refused to admit slides as evidence, Samsung attorney releases them to reporters in effort to show Apple borrowed iPhone concepts from Sony.

Apple iPhone 5 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S III: What We Know
Apple iPhone 5 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S III: What We Know
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The judge in the Apple vs. Samsung Electronics case is reportedly "livid" after an attorney for Apple said Tuesday that Samsung had issued a "press release" airing evidence that could not be admitted at the patent infringement trial in San Jose U.S. District Court.

Samsung attorney John Quinn said Wednesday said he didn't issue a press release. He authorized a response to specific queries from the press. News of the move was aired on the BBC in the United Kingdom, where Apple and Samsung are also suing each other. Needless to say, the actions of the British press are beyond the jurisdiction of San Jose, Calif.'s decisive Judge Lucy H. Koh.

Quinn said his actions were "lawful, ethical, and fully consistent with the relevant California Rules of Professional Responsibility" for attorneys.

Koh has ruled over the trial with a firm hand and had three times previously refused Samsung's request to include as evidence a set of Samsung PowerPoint graphics. The slides cite comments from an interview with Apple designer Shin Nishibori that he had come up with an iPhone design by studying examples of Sony's Walkman design concepts. He said he was commissioned by Jonathan Ive, Apple's head of industrial design, to determine "if Sony were to make an iPhone, what would it be like?"

Samsung produced the information after evidentiary hearings had already been held to decide what documents would be included in the trial.

As an example of how important the document is to Samsung, one of its lead attorneys, John Quinn, managing partner of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, rose and addressed the court just before the start of Tuesday's proceedings--without waiting for Judge Koh's permission to do so. He implored the judge to reconsider admitting the document, since it was central to Samsung's case that producing a device shaped like an iPhone wasn't automatically copying Apple. The Samsung graphic purports to document that the design idea was already resident in several design groups, including Sony's.

[ Does anybody benefit from this trial? Apple-Samsung Case Hurts You, Me, The Economy. ]

Koh was having none of it, however. Quinn persisted. "In 36 years of trial work, I have never begged the court for anything. I'm begging the court now to reconsider." Koh responded that the matter was already settled and wouldn't be reopened. When Quinn persisted, she threatened him with misconduct. As he tried to talk over her response, she said: "I want you to sit down please. Please don't make me sanction you." The managing partner sat.

Koh is a believer in formal proceedings and would later Tuesday chastise members of Samsung's platoon of lawyers for coming and going during Apple's opening statement. As Samsung began its statement, she announced that attorneys inside the courtroom would stay inside, and those outside would stay outside. When informed by an Apple attorney, apparently after the close of regular proceedings, that Samsung had aired the evidence anyway, in what Apple called "an attempt to pollute the jury," Koh reportedly was angry.

She demanded an explanation of who authorized the release of the information. Quinn responded Wednesday morning that he had. No press release was issued, he said, rather "a brief statement" accompanied by slides about Shin had been made available through a link online to certain members of the press. (The link to the published documents was disabled or quit working a few hours after it was announced.)

Quinn attached the statement and slides to his response to the judge. It remains to be seen whether they will enter the trial record by this unconventional route. Quinn said his sharing of documents was not an attempt to influence jurors because it happened after the jury had already been instructed not to do research on its own or consult information coming from outside the courtroom.

Quinn then raised his own indignant voice in response to the Apple attorney's description of his action.

"Contrary to the representations Apple's counsel made to this court, Samsung did not issue a general press release and, more importantly, did not violate any court order or any legal or ethical standards. These false representations by Apple's counsel publicly and unfairly called my personal reputation into question and have resulted in media reports likewise falsely impugning me personally," he wrote in his response to the judge.

He continued: "Far from violating any order, Samsung's transmission to the public of public information disclosed in pretrial filings is entirely consistent with this court's statements--made in denying both parties' requests to seal documents--that '[t]he United States district court is a public institution, and the workings of litigation must be open to public view. Pretrial submissions are a part of the trial," he wrote, citing a court decision on that issue.

Quinn then used Koh's own words to justify his action: "Indeed, the court has told the parties that 'the whole trial is going to be open.' The court repeated these sentiments on July 20, 2012, noting 'the plethora of media and general public scrutiny' of these proceedings and stating that '[t]he public has a significant interest in these court filings.'"

Koh is likely to have something to say about this interpretation of her words, as well as Quinn's action.

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NiteOwl_OvO
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NiteOwl_OvO,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/8/2012 | 10:04:14 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
Obama appointed the first Chinese-American, Korean-American and Vietnamese-American federal judges. He also nominated a Taiwanese-American. The push was for Diversity.
NiteOwl_OvO
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NiteOwl_OvO,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/8/2012 | 9:53:20 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
Wait! I've got it! Ban all cell phones and tablet PCs. That takes care of these pesky law suites and the whole issue of driving and texting/talking on a mobile device. Then I will quietly produce a new pocket porn viewer with built-in wireless and run Andriod on it. Add in a Skype app and your're in business. I'll be rich!
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/8/2012 | 9:30:29 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
exactly and thanks.

These suits and countersuits are good for no one, least of all the two parties involved. Pundits have been saying for years that patent law is out of step with the world as it is today. If only we had a working Congress rather than a gaggle of useless ideologues. . .

Still rants by rabid Apple fanbois or their opposites are not useful. The reality here is that in addition to procedural issues not being detailed in media coverage, there is valid legal reasoning to suggest that the Sony to iPod connection is not equivalent to the Apple to Samsung connection and is therefore not a useful precedent. Here goes:

There's a material difference between saying "If the designer of the walkman-a 30 year old portable cassette player no longer in production-were to design a combination phone, pda, and mp3 player what would it look like?" and saying "I'm going to get into the smartphone market. What successful smartphones on the street today have specific design features that I like?"

The former question leads to looking at what qualities made the Walkman successful? Ease of use. Compact form factor. Japanese minimalist design (which already inspired Apple's existing product line). Pefect product name. Timing. Etc., etc. OK how do we apply that to the iPhone?

The latter question deals with competitors making the exact same class of product at the same time. There is the possibility of direct literal copying of functions and design specifics, as well as the potential to do present-day harm. Apple is claiming that boundaries were crossed in that context, not in terms of "inspiration".

I'm not buying what Apple says unless they can prove something under the hood, which I take leave to doubt. My point is that I can see where a reasonable judge would say that the two situations are not equivalent regardless of who appointed her or her political leanings. (And BTW appointees are indeed vetted, sometimes more than elected judges who these days need only appear to a radical fringe to get elected for life. )

Having ruled, the judge did not expect an end around run. Brilliant, Quinn but it sets a precedent as smelly as the original lawsuit. How about this notion? First one to climb out of the pigsty wins.
NiteOwl_OvO
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NiteOwl_OvO,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/8/2012 | 9:08:32 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
I agree that it's not offensive. I promise I will do better next time.
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/8/2012 | 8:28:07 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
that is inappropriate and inoffensive.
DC2009
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DC2009,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/6/2012 | 9:03:41 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
My next phone is going to be a dumb phone.
hohum
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hohum,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/4/2012 | 2:23:05 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
Why would anyone be concerned about the released information.
It was deemed not admissible as evidence.
and therefore would be considered an opinion at best?
Isnt that the public forum?

I would be more concerned with judge-tampering.
NiteOwl_OvO
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NiteOwl_OvO,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/3/2012 | 6:07:50 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
Judge Koh was appointed by Obama. She was reportedly selected because of her ethnicity as much as her qualifications. There was a push at the time to try to have more ethnic backgrounds represented. I wonder if Koh, who is Korean-American, is going out of her way to prove that she is not biased in favor of a Korean company by leaning hard the other way.
NiteOwl_OvO
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NiteOwl_OvO,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/3/2012 | 4:57:12 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
Excuse me? I've seen no evidence whatsoever that Apple licensed anything from Xerox. All I've read is that Apple requested a tour of PARC. They offered Xerox the opportunity to buy some pre-IPO stock in Apple, which Xerox accepted. Where is the license or compensation? After seeing Xerox's GUI, Apple changed the direction of their new computer, "poached" some key people from PARC and the MAC was conceived. Microsoft and IBM also visited PARC and like Apple, they saw the potential for the GUI, poached some PARC staffers and copied the design as well.

I agree the patent system is broken. It was never intended to create an enduring monopoly on an idea. The intent was to grant the inventor/developer a temporary advantage over would-be competitors, so they could recover their investments and place them on an even footing with their competitors. The idea of intellectual property, that some legal entity owns an idea, was never intended and is totally wrong.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Strategist
8/3/2012 | 2:04:55 PM
re: Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure
And apprently, that's exactly what Samsung did, but the judge didn't like it.
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