A federal judge will decide whether the jury foreman in the Apple v. Samsung concealed information during jury selection and whether there was any juror misconduct.
San Jose-based U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh said she will look into the allegations by Samsung at a Dec. 6 hearing, according to CNET. She will also require Apple to disclose what information it knew about the outspoken jury foreman, Velvin Hogan. Hogan, a 67-year-old electrical engineer in Milpitas who knows patent law, spoke with NBC Bay Area in August, after the trial.
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Not surprisingly, Samsung's objections are being viewed as simply trying to get the $1 billion patent judgment awarded to Apple thrown out because of a mistrial. However, some lawyers say that getting a case thrown out completely because of juror misconduct is very unusual.
Samsung is arguing that Hogan didn't disclose during jury selection that be had been sued by his former employer, Seagate. Coincidentally or not, Samsung and Seagate have a "substantial strategic relationship," according to CNET. The lawsuit led to Hogan filing for bankruptcy in 1993, and Samsung said he should have told the court. Hogan reportedly said he had been involved in litigation but that the judge didn't ask for a complete list of lawsuits so he didn't see fit to elaborate.
That's strange because Hogan seemed more than happy to speak at length about his involvement in the trial and his engineering and patent prowess helped it swing Apple's way. It's strange that a man so forthcoming wouldn't have brought up that little bit of knowledge.
People are viewing this move by Samsung cynically, but being penalized $1 billion for "stealing" Apple technology will make most people/companies find ways to overturn the verdict. Hogan's involvement may or may not be juror misconduct, but it shows how important investigating or questioning jurors before the trial begins can be.