Apple called "egregious" the conduct of Samsung attorney John Quinn, a managing partner of the Los Angeles law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Quinn, denied the chance four times in court to admit documentation of an interview with Apple designer Shin Nishibori, instead gave reporters links to it late in the opening day of the trial, Tuesday. Apple and Samsung are engaged in a showdown in the San Jose, Calif., court over Apple's claims that Samsung's products copied the iPhone.
Quinn said in his statement to the court justifying his action that such a move was legal because the document was part of the pretrial submission, even though it hadn't been admitted into evidence that would be used at the trial itself. As part of the pretrial record, it was a public record he could share with reporters, he asserted.
[ Want to learn more about the events in the courtroom? See Apple-Samsung Judge 'Livid' Over Document Disclosure. ]
The slides and text cite comments from an interview with Apple designer Shin Nishibori that he used design ideas in Sony's Walkman to come up with an iPhone design. He had been directed to do so by Jonathan Ive, Apple's head of industrial design. Apple has been treating the interview as something akin to toxic waste; when it submitted iPhone design records, they all pre-dated the time frame discussed in the Nishibori interview.
"Apple itself publicly filed Shin Nishibori's testimony that the direction of the iPhone's design was completely changed by the 'Sony-style' designs that Jonathan Ive directed him to make," Quinn said in his statement to the court Wednesday. Quinn also included requests from the press to see the documents and said his conduct was "lawful" and "ethical."
Apple lead attorney's Harold McElhinny viewed it as a way to circumvent Judge Koh's ruling that the evidence couldn't be added to the trial after the evidentiary hearings had been closed. Apple in its response specifically charged that Samsung and its attorney had "engaged in bad faith litigation misconduct by attempting to prejudice the jury..."
Samsung's release of a statement referring to the excluded evidence included the suggestion "that it be provided to the jury," a move that warranted the judge to sanction Samsung. That sanction should be a ruling that Apple's patent claims "are valid and infringed by Samsung."
Quinn in his statement said he wasn't trying to address the jury and only allowed the press to see his evidence after Koh had instructed members of the jury that it wasn't to read accounts of the trial in the press or go off on information-seeking missions of their own.
He went a step further in asserting that he had a right to defend his client from the media reporting "in salacious detail Apple's allegations of Samsung's supposed 'copying,' causing injury to Samsung's public reputation." But Apple, allegedly quoting from the statement that Samsung sent out with the Nishibori slides, said Samsung was attempting to influence the jury when it said: "Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story" and "fundamental fairness" required that the jury get a chance to view the evidence.
Koh had not issued any ruling or comment by Thursday afternoon.
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