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back to article Will Samsung's patent court doc leak backfire spectacularly?

Samsung's decision to leak evidence banned from court could hand Apple an automatic win in the warring tech titans' patent trial. The South Korean giant had prepared slides to potentially prove its rival was wrong to claim Samsung had copied the iPhone design - but after the judge barred the evidence from being put before the …

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Facepalm

I will be the first to admit that....

What i know about patent las could be written on the back of a stamp with a bingo marker, but is anyone else just sick to death of the massive waste of money and time this farce seems to be....

Just get on with it or throw it out and let the designers design....

Once again, the only real benificaries are the lawyers.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I will be the first to admit that....

Yes, the jury should decide that both sides should lose, and pay three times their own lawyers fees in damages (not to the other side, but to the state)

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Re: I will be the first to admit that....

Why the state?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: why the state?

Because the state pays for the court system that companies have become fond of (ab)using as a weapon in their commercial disputes.

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Stop

Re: I will be the first to admit that....

As an Apple stockholder, I would be much more upset if Apple failed to defend its intellectual property from obvious theft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I will be the first to admit that....

>Just get on with it or throw it out and let the designers design....

Isn't that the point though? many of them aren't designing, they're just producing designs inspired by rival products.

While Samsung isn't doing it now, their first Galaxy S was obviously iPhone inspired. I don't see how anyone could say otherwise looking at a picture of them side by side.

http://cdn.mactrast.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Samsung-Galaxy-S-iPhone-Copy.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I will be the first to admit that....

As an Apple stockholder, you should pay attention to the evidence that Samsung has presented. Apple would rather eliminate the competition rather than invent. If you are worried about theft, look at the connection between Lisa and Xerox PARC.

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Meh

Re: I will be the first to admit that....

Maybe it was actually f700 inspired ?

http://media.idownloadblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Samsung-F700-vs-iPhone.jpg

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Re: why the state?

Actually the state doesn't pay for the court system. Aside from the court fees required from the litigants it is paid for by the taxpayers.

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Megaphone

Re: I will be the first to admit that....

"As an Apple stockholder, I would be much more upset if Apple failed to defend its intellectual property from obvious theft."

I would agree but for one thing,....

ROUNDED CORNERS AND WHERE THE FUCKING BUTTONS GO IS NOT REALLY INTELLECTUAL!!..

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Re: I will be the first to admit that....

"While Samsung isn't doing it now, their first Galaxy S was obviously iPhone inspired. I don't see how anyone could say otherwise looking at a picture of them side by side."

I owned both phones (replaced the iPhone 3gs with a Galaxy S) and they weren't remotely alike apart from the general rectangular shape (I had windows phones way before that which looked just the same on that rectangular count).

Not only looked different, felt different in the hand, the screens were markedly different, and of course from a software perspective Android v iOS are even more dramatically different.

Its like claiming a patent on a laptop because it has a folding screen and a keyboard - patently (badoom tish - I'm here til Friday!) ridiculous.

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@ Marty Re: I will be the first to admit that....

You my friend owe me a keyboard. So many times I have thought of saying that exact statement but havent. Nice.

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Re: why the state?

"Actually the state doesn't pay for the court system. Aside from the court fees required from the litigants it is paid for by the taxpayers."

Er...'Paid for by the state' and 'paid for by taxpayers' are basically the same thing.

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FAIL

Anyone notice that Lucy Koh is biased...?

I'm no fan of the Korean Samsung Chaebol, which is as much of a sleazy, dishonest corporation as Apple is.

...They kind of deserve each other.

But Samsung's F700 phone, predating the iPhone surely has a bearing on the case, and the Jury should NOT be allowed to see it...?

This is a court in the United States, the land of the free and the just...?

Looks like we're just out to protect our shiny baubles corporation from the ones who build everything inside those baubles, like the processor, the memory, the chipset and the screen, later to be slapped together by the suicidal slaves at Foxconn.

They should be put in a pinata bag together and beaten with sticks, not keep our courts busy with this shit.

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Happy

Re: I will be the first to admit that....

Apple has been awarded a patent like that for the wedge shape of a laptop....to me innovation is the apps I use not the shape of my buttons or phone....

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Part of a larger problem.

"Vicki Salmon, solicitor and patent attorney of IP Asset and the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), told The Register suggested these demands and acts of mischief are a spectacle to win over a jury that probably doesn't understand patent law very well. This is a case about highly complex patent and design issues, the details of which the parties may believe to be beyond the comprehension of the jury," she said."

This touches on a very serious and larger problem: cases concerning issues, whether legal, financial, or scientific, that should NOT be decided by a "typical" jury for the simple fact that the complexities are far too great.

There needs to be some mechanism to permit judgement to be rendered, not by a more or less random selection of people who happen to be in the jury pool, but by a jury composed of people actually competent to understand the issues involved.

Unfortunately, I am not capable of devising a mechanism to accomplish this.

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FAIL

Re: Part of a larger problem.

No, the whole point of a jury is to provide a panel of non-expert people to whom the experts have to make their case, in plain and non-technical language. Loading the jury with experts would be very silly indeed, and a recipe for disaster.

GJC

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Re: Part of a larger problem.

I beg to differ.

Supposed to be a 'jury of your peers' -> not somebody who couldn't find their asshole with both hands. I present my own dad for evidence, believes the Government (yes, Capital G), never should have let the public have computers.

How would you like him on your jury?

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@ Geoff Campbell

This is something that Private Eye has been covering for years - specifically, in complex financial fraud cases that require very long court cases.

With these types of trials, it’s been argued that the details of such cases are so complicated that when they are explained in a broad way, in order a lay person can understand, a lot of the wrong-doing is lost. In other words, you need to look at the fine details to be able to properly examine if the law was broken.

Here’s a director of the Serious Fraud Office speaking about his in 1997:

"The prosecutor strives to present a complex commercial fraud to a jury of lay people in a way that enables them to understand the intricacies of the commercial transactions and understand the documents, often the most convoluted and intricate sets of accounts," she said. "But this means having to prune a case to its bare essentials, losing, in the process, substantial elements of the total criminality alleged."http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sfo-wants-to-end-trial-by-jury-in-complex-financial-cases-1239577.html

This has been long debated in legal circles – for example:

“In 1986 Lord Roskill's Fraud Trials Committee did not find trial by a random jury a satisfactory way of achieving justice in cases of long and complex fraud. Lord Runciman's Royal Commission on Criminal Justice, which reported in 1993, was more cautious. It pointed out that no-one really knew how juries reached their verdicts because it was against the law to ask them. It recommended a change in the law to enable research to be carried out. Lord Justice Auld was quite clear, however, in his Review of the Criminal Courts in 2001. He said, in line with Roskill's favoured option, that in serious and complex frauds the nominated trial judge should have the power to direct a trial by himself and two lay members drawn from a panel established by the Lord Chancellor for the purpose, or, if the defendant so requests, by himself alone.“

http://www.barristermagazine.com/archivedsite/articles/issue25/staple.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Part of a larger problem.

I guess the true test to see if a jury is any better than a random decision is to see if they can tell "is there 4 lights or 5?".

It would be great fun to put a case through court to see what silly things you can get juries to side on if you make "computerz lookz complicatedz".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Part of a larger problem.

'Jury of your peers' is an interesting idea, who decides who your peers are?

My peers would not likely be on a jury, they would refuse as they would loose too much money by being there, which means the people who do jury duty are the lower paid, and usually lower educated people. People who do not have the ability or knowledge to avoid the jury duty.

If I was on trial, I would want the peers to be educated to degree level minimum, from varied backgrounds, with similar standards and ideals to my own...

BUT I am likely to get a jury filled with people who failed GCSE's, work in low paid jobs and think Sky News is the oracle of truth...

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Peers

Yeah, the idea of being tried before a 'jury of your peers'. If I am accused of stealing your TV, my peers are the men and women on the street- fellow citizens or subjects. I feel this to be fair enough, when my reputation and liberty is at stake.

Who is the peer of a multi-national, multi-billion dollar company? Not me.

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Re: Part of a larger problem.

except of course that you can't just refuse. To avoid jury duty when selected you have to have a pretty good excuse.

Is your excuse "I don't like oiks"?

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Anonymous Coward

And in an international court

Samsung might feel aggrieved that a dispute between them and a very large Californian company is being heard in a Californian court with a Californian jury. Business as usual for USA Covert Protectionism Inc., though.

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Re: Part of a larger problem.

In the U. S. the argument was made successfully that a specific appeals court should be established that had expertise in patent matters - the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, by virtue of considerable experience in adjudicating patent law cases, presumably has developed expertise as well. See where that got us, then discuss further whether we need specially knowledgeable juries here.

I claim the outcome was better in Oracle v. Google, in the Northern District of California, and Apple v. Samsung, dismissed recently by Judge Richard Posner (7th Circuit).

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Re: @ Geoff Campbell

Private Eye also regularly points out that the Yanks don't seem to have this problem -- they cut through the complexity and get their convictions. We have a lot to learn from them on this count...

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Jury of Your Peers

A Jury of Your Peers is an outdated form of justice, where a Lord would be tried before a jury of Lords, avoiding being automatically found guilty by a jury of serfs. A juries are now selected from lists of voters.

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Re: @ Geoff Campbell

When the High Court quashed the billionaire Tchenguiz brothers arrest warrants recently, the judge said that it was because the SFO didn't have a hot-shot financial lawyer on its team who could package up the evidence and argument to a high enough standard.

The ruling says - literally - that the warrants were thrown out because the SFO were under-resourced compared to two billionaires.

I mean - hey. Good luck with that justice thing, yr'honour.

Doesn't really apply to the the Fruity Tech Titan [tm] vs Samsung etc, but I thought it was an interesting example of the legal process being far out of its depth.

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Re: Part of a larger problem.

No, he's probably like me (not that I agree with him) but.... "I'm the Managing Director of a company that will suffer significant financial loss"

I'd love to give jury duty a go but only between contracts ..... as it is, I've never been asked anyway :(

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Re: Part of a larger problem.

So you think that people with a high income can not afford to lose some of that, people with a lower income on the other hand can?

Sorry, but your logic is flawed.

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FAIL

Re: Re: Part of a larger problem.

"My peers would not likely be on a jury, they would refuse as they would loose too much money by being there, which means the people who do jury duty are the lower paid, and usually lower educated people. People who do not have the ability or knowledge to avoid the jury duty.

If I was on trial, I would want the peers to be educated to degree level minimum, from varied backgrounds, with similar standards and ideals to my own..."

Well then, the solution is to not let self-centered yutzim whose only concern is how much money they would lose by performing a civic duty avoid serving. Start off by making anyone who uses the old tricks of wearing offensive t-shirts, not bathing for a week before the date, etc. return the next day properly prepared to serve or be charged with contempt and go on from there. That way, you won't be limited to "People who do not have the ability or knowledge to avoid the jury duty."

Make it harder to avoid jury duty and you have a larger, more diverse pool of potential jurors from which to select your "peers".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Part of a larger problem.

Indeed, getting out of jury duty is very easy to achieve especially if you are a contractor or sole trader. You merely have to show that financial hardship would result. Not getting paid and losing your house because the mortgage wouldn't be covered is likely to get you over the line so contractors will never find themselves doing jury duty. I certainly haven't and I have been requested. If you're a perm then your mileage may vary.

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Re: Part of a larger problem.

May I suggest that the reason for a lay jury is because it should not require a specialist to recognize criminal behaviour. If a law needs an expert to determine right from wrong, then that law lacks any sort of moral underpinning in the first place.

One of the basic requirements for a criminal law should be if an ordinary citizen can easily tell if its been broken. (Which is different from deciding if someone broke it, which is why we have juries in the first place.).

Our legal system is diabolically complex as it is, and one if the few things that stops it getting worse is the fact that you can't get juries to convict on laws they don't understand.

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Re: Part of a larger problem.

If your contract is closed-ended and has a completion date, explaining that limitation to the judge and saying that you will appear for service after that contract is up will likely get you a deferral. If you're on an open-ended contract, then that makes you, really, no different from a permanent employee. (I was called for jury duty -- and went -- while I was working on an open-ended contract, so I have some experience here.)

And it seems to me that if -- while working as a contractor or between contracts -- you can afford to take time off for a vacation, then you can afford to take time to serve your community.

But maybe that's just me...

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Re: Part of a larger problem.

It's not a criminal case, it's a civil bash...

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Re: And in an international court

If the idea of inadmissable evidence is to stand it needs to be verified that the case is compromised by the "other" client not knowing in time to prepare for the court appearance.

That some evidence was barred from court on the grounds it was too late to be accepted, it aught to be shown that both parties were in ignorance of the evidence at the time of going to court or its sell by date.

That the evidence was a well known product most likely studied by the opposition is fairly obvious to all, even those not concerned. Therefore having the evidence thrown out on a point of law was injustice.

So yes, you are right.

I'd bet even Kim.com would lose in a US court of [s]illegal[/s] lawless.

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Re: Jury of Your Peers

> juries are now selected from lists of voters.

Is the definition of peer someone who votes?

That's a definition of people who are eligible for jury duty not of peerage.

If I were a woman I'd want women who had my experiences rather than men who didn't in for example a Muslim country. Or if I were a negro in a Southern US state, I'd insist on a black jury. And not just black but people with my religious and political ideologies.

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Re: 404 :Part of a larger problem.

Honestly seeing how society has changed with how stupid people have become, also how dependent on the things like facebook, and twitter I can't really argue with his point of view...

Now if you would have asked me 10 years ago I would have said he was insane.

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@Mike Moyle

Well I don't know about by you, but where I live Jurors only get paid $8(or was it $11) or so by the state...

PARKING (yes they charge for it) is $10...

Food last time I went 10 years ago was $2 for what was then a 50 cent candy bar in any other vending machine(hell I should know I used to OWN a vending machine)...

So can you see why people ditch jury duty?

last time my old man was sequestered for a week he got a whole $50, and the hotel they threw em in was so poor he got louses from the mattress which took a crap ton of work to get rid of after...

So now if they at least give you minimum wage as pay, free parking, and reasonably priced food, or even free (seeing you are being forced to sit there), and a decent hotel room(not some crap that makes truck stop motels look high class) people might not ditch out on it as much as possible.

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@ Kevin 6

I guess the difference is that I see jury duty as a (frankly, small) shared sacrifice that citizens make as members of a society. No one pays me a living wage to study the issues in order to try to vote intelligently on election day either; it's just part of the job.

I will confess that the parking wasn't an issue for me, since the courthouse was only a few blocks away from public transit, so I didn't consider that as a problem; others, obviously, would.

Did I lose money when I went to jury duty...? Sure but, in terms of sacrifice in service to society, National Guard troops deployed overseas often lose a lot more money while risking their lives away from their real jobs, so my losing a few days' work seems to me like a pretty trivial sacrifice to make for civic duty. But that's just how I was brought up -- my dad was a member of the volunteer fire department in the town that I grew up in, assistant Scoutmaster in one of the town Boy Scout troops, etc., so I always had that unspoken "give something back to the community" example in front of me as a kid. Who knew that it would stick?!!?

I'm not claiming any particular virtue -- I pissed and moaned about the money and the time, same as anybody else -- but I felt, in the end, that it was a fair exchange for what I get as a member of a society. YMMV.

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Re: To avoid jury duty when selected...

I would not know about that; but these assholes seemed to have found a way out:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/gossip-scuttles-dontae-morris-trial-hillsborough-judge-dismisses-jury-pool/1243583

BTW, the defendant is accused of 5 murders, two of them being police officers.

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Coat

@404: Re: Part of a larger problem.

I guess it depends on what I'm accused of...

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PT

@Kevin 6

You summed it up perfectly. What's worse, even salaried people in the US discover their employer will only allow them a week or so paid time, and after that they're up shit creek if it's a long trial. They sit there day after day watching five, sometimes ten or more, lawyers billing hundreds of dollars an hour cross-examine expert witnesses being paid $25,000 a day; with untold thousands already spent on jury consultants and strategists, while barely picking up enough money to pay for lunch, parking and gas. A (salaried) friend of mine nearly lost his home because of a trial that dragged on for weeks, while another, a contractor, got sentenced to 120 hours of community service when he explained he was on a deadline and asked to be excused. I'll accept it as a "patriotic duty" when the judges and lawyers agree to do it for free as well.

For those needing to avoid service in criminal cases, the magic words are "jury nullification". Speak then to a fellow prospective juror where the prosecution can overhear. It's trickier in a civil suit, but "tort reform" works in a lot of cases.

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Re: Part of a larger problem.

"'Jury of your peers' is an interesting idea, who decides who your peers are?

My peers would not likely be on a jury, they would refuse as they would loose too much money by being there, which means the people who do jury duty are the lower paid, and usually lower educated people. People who do not have the ability or knowledge to avoid the jury duty.

If I was on trial, I would want the peers to be educated to degree level minimum, from varied backgrounds, with similar standards and ideals to my own...

BUT I am likely to get a jury filled with people who failed GCSE's, work in low paid jobs and think Sky News is the oracle of truth..."

You sir, sound like a pompous arse. Also, it would be to 'lose' too much money, not 'loose'. The next time you arrogantly cast aspersions about the likely level of education of the men and women performing their civic duty you might want to consider being less of an absolute cock about it.

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Stop

"Running off to reporters could hand Apple an easy win"

No, because if it does, then it just reinforces the view that it was never about copyright infringement, and the whole shebang was fixed in American Apple's favor from the outset.

The only thing it's likely to achieve, is a new and unbiased judge that allows a new jury to see ALL the relevant evidence rather than only the stuff Apple wants them to see.

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Unethical?

Though I'm not a lawyer, the point of disclosure is to allow a fair trial where both sides and the jury can see how the other's design process. Handing out that information to the public when a judge has ruled it's irrelevant is at least not cricket (not that there's much of that in this trial) and at worst leaking confidential trade secrets (not in this case since the documents were from years ago).

I'm slightly surprised Samsung aren't in the dock for contempt of court.

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Re: Unethical?

You might have had a point if the court hadn't previously ruled that this information had to be available to the public.

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FAIL

Balance?

I'm used to better balanced reporting than this from El Reg. You missed the fairly basic fact that everything Samsung released was already on the court docket. All they did was package up various bits of evidence already in the case and already public. And for this Apple want the court to hand them victory?

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Stop

El Reg balanced? Stop it, you're making me laugh too much

They have a habit of taking a very partisan view from one side or another, rairly balanced.

Samsung's presentation certainly wasn't in the public domain before they emailed a large chunk of it to the press. The outline of their case was, but not the detail. Releasing it in the way they did was definitely a bad move.

Saying that, Apple's request for summary judgement is wildly optimistic and unlikely to happen.

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