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back to article Judge begs Apple, Samsung to get a room, or trial will end in tears

Judge Lucy Koh has urged Apple and Samsung to kiss and make up, and end their bitter legal battles. Judge Koh, who is overseeing the two tech titans' iPhone patent trial in the US, asked the chief execs of Apple and Samsung to talk at least once more on the phone before the jury goes away next week to consider its verdict. Sammy …

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Judge Lucy

Has said pretty much the most sensible thing I've heard during this case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Judge Lucy

You're not exactly setting a high bar there. But FWIW I agree.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Judge Lucy

Another thumbs up from me. But if I was in the judge's shoes I'd also be trying to make noises as to working out how this situation came about in the first place ... ie. the tendancy of the patent office to not reject things based on various grounds, and let the companies duke it out in courts; which will ultimately cost the consumer, either in higher product prices, the suffering of a less competative market, or the general perception that the world is going mad and that no one in authority is taking serious steps to stop what appears to be utter insanity.

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Happy

It's "Judge Koh" to you.......

... and to everybody else too.

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Meh

Re: Judge Lucy

A sensible comment made by a sensible person to a group of petulant childish adults.

Do you really think they will listen?

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Anonymous Coward

who ever loses

Will appeal!

Yum yum more money for the lawyers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Judge Lucy

I think she is saying that justice will not be done whoever wins or loses because the decision has been left to a partially educated jury who have no idea how to process the technicalities of the case and who, innthe end, are going to decide by choosing their favourite colour.

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Re: Judge Lucy

I suppose she had to ask even though she probably feels there's FA chance of it happening.

The dispute isn't going to stop at the Jury's verdict though. Both sides have already created the necessary records for Appeal and Samsung has come out and said Apple violates some of its 3G patents.

The lawyers don't want it to end either. They're probably thinking to themselves "this is going to be just like SCO - a f***ing gravy train!!!"

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Re: Judge Lucy

I can just see it in the newspaper. "Jury forbids sales of Apple and Samsung products in the US". It could not happen to two nicer companies.

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

and that wouldn't do, an American firm losing in America

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Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

How the hell did you work that out? The judge would have no insight to the jury's thoughts.

The point the judge is making is that the trial is basically a big lottery - a random assortment of people have been told to decide on extremely complicated patent minutia.

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Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

My thoughts exactly. Funny how she waits until it's Samsung's turn before coming out with this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

She didn't.

"asked the chief execs of Apple and Samsung to talk at least once more on the phone before"

Why do you think they talked before?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

Follow the money, Apple brings billions in tax profits to the bay area, they basically pay the judge and her bosses salary. To make her bosses happy the judge's goal is to keep the money flowing into the Bay Area economy and their pockets. A jury trial prevents her from doing anything more than block evidence that favors Samsung - which she has done. She has just heard the best that the Apple lawyers could dish out and it is apperant that they are likely to loose so to protect her salary and those who pay it she is trying desperately to pressure Samsung to pay on these worthless patents. Also, remember that the Bias the judge has shown towards Apple has already established a baseline for Samsung to appeal( and win), so... push Samsung to settle... as in give Apple another income stream( and hence her bosses). But also remember it won't stop here, if Samsung caves and pays on these bogus patents then every other manufacturer will eventually find the same crooked tactics used on them.

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Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

This is, just for the record, moderately insane. Judges have their own opinions, and generally react very badly indeed to being leaned on. This is why we have an independent judiciary.

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Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

I'd vote jaduncan up twice if I could — the tin-foil hat accusations sound quite desperate.

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Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

@AC

"Follow the money, Apple brings billions in tax profits to the bay area, they basically pay the judge and her bosses salary. To make her bosses happy the judge's goal is to keep the money flowing into the Bay Area economy and their pockets. A jury trial prevents her from doing anything more than block evidence that favors Samsung - which she has done. She has just heard the best that the Apple lawyers could dish out and it is apperant that they are likely to loose so to protect her salary and those who pay it she is trying desperately to pressure Samsung to pay on these worthless patents. Also, remember that the Bias the judge has shown towards Apple has already established a baseline for Samsung to appeal( and win), so... push Samsung to settle... as in give Apple another income stream( and hence her bosses). But also remember it won't stop here, if Samsung caves and pays on these bogus patents then every other manufacturer will eventually find the same crooked tactics used on them."

I'd challenge you to repeat that in the Judge's courtroom...

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Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

Actually, Apple doesn't bring "billions of dollars of tax" to the Bay Area. Sure, they employ a few thousand people, and pay them well, and pay Cupertino a nice chunk of cash in property taxes, and that's nice and all... but Apple's corporate profits tend to end up in Nevada (with Braeburn Capital, or possibly Golden Delicious Tax Avoidance, where there's no corporate income or capital gains tax.

So million, sure. Billions? No.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

"Previously, Judge Koh ordered the companies to meet back in May with the same endgame in mind. Back then, both Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung and Apple CEO Tim Cook were present while the companies engaged in two days of unsuccessful court-ordered mediation."

--Arstechnica

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Apple doesn't want to stop court cases

The whole point of this is Apple showing the world that it has bigger, more expensive lawyers than the rest of them - so keep off what it claims to be its lawn even if others have a valid right to be there - otherwise Apple will cost them more in legal fees than it is worth it. Apple does not really mind if it looses as long as the Samsung legal bill is high.

It is not about who is right, but who is richest.

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The Lawyers have won.

I predict that the winners in this case will be the lawyers. At the end of this, they will be the richest.

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Re: Apple doesn't want to stop court cases

Erm, Apple's lawyers are cheaper than Samsung's, the numbers were revealed early on in the case.

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Re: Apple's lawyers are cheaper than Samsung's

Ah, no wonder the judge is frightened Samsung are gonna win...

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FAIL

It will go to appeal.

Whatever the decision. Lawyers will continue to make money. I regret not studying corporate/patent law when I was at university. Chemistry was interesting, but I could have made a lot more money feeding of egotistical corporate execs...

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Re: It will go to appeal.

When I was younger, I had two career paths I wanted to take, law and computing. I chose computing to focus on... I now regret that decision.

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Re: It will go to appeal.

Really? This sort of lawyering sounds hideously dull and unpleasant to me.

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jai
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Re: It will go to appeal.

yes it is - but you also paid a lot by the hour for it, and for the right price, most people are willing to put up with dull and unpleasant

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Re: It will go to appeal.

Hideously dull it may be, but the huge wedge of cash they are being given on an hourly basis would be enough to make it interesting for me.

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Re: It will go to appeal.

"This sort of lawyering sounds hideously dull and unpleasant to me."

And so it is in most jobs. I count myself lucky that, in my employment, I get a feeling of satisfaction from what I do. But at least the lawyers in this case can go home and console themselves with the huge piles of dosh they have earned.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It will go to appeal.

Beware. Lots of new lawyers (say more than 50% of graduates) can't get a "real" glamorous lawyering job (e.g. arguing complex civil patents cases for $500+ per hour). Those are the 1%ers, and they paid $120,000 or more for the training alone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It will go to appeal.

I dont see what you're getting at there, are you saying that if you pay 120000 for training that you will be in that 1% and the other 99% had a cheaper education?

If thats so then Id find that $120000 and pay for the education - after all the education only cost approx 1 months wage at $500 an hour!

:)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It will go to appeal.

Obviously you don't work as a consultant or even a technician at Equinix... $200/hour to get either of them to do anything (Oh and they'll do it as slow as possible too).

Anon, because they have physical access to my servers.

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Re: I now regret that decision.

Don't. We respect the decision you made. If you'd gone the other way we have to make jokes about you.

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Re: ...can't get a "real" glamorous lawyering job

My heart bleeds for them. They'll still pull down a minimum $150/hr at opening rates.

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Windows

Why no specialised court in US?

"[Judge Koh] said both companies could be in trouble if they leave the decision up to the panel of ordinary folk, who certainly aren't intellectual property experts."

Why do lay juries have to go through what must be mind-blowingly boring hearings?

Why does the US not have a patent court like in UK? Specialised judges and qualified counsel?

Is it one of those barmy states rights things?

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Joke

Re: Why no specialised court in US?

Maybe because then the government could be held partially to blame for "unfavourable" verdicts. With the current system they can throw their hands up in the air and go "random is random!" ;)

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Re: Why no specialised court in US?

Regardless of which side they choose, I wouldn't be surprised if they set the damages awarded at $1 and that each side must pay their own lawyer's fees with all injunctions lifted and a ban put on any being re-applied for.

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Jury selection

The court summons a large bunch of potential jurors. Some are sent home because spending time on the jury would cause undue hardship or because they have a business relationship with one of the parties. They lawyers from each side get to throw out a few potential jurors. Every single time, they throw out the people with experience with technology or law.

The European Patent Office is lobbying hard for a specialist patent court. If they ever get their way, no patent will be too obvious and the concept of non-patentable subject matter will be entirely forgotten. If you ever hear a rumour that the possibility of a specialist patent court will be created, publicise the rumour at once and hope that letters to MEPs will stamp this atrocious idea back into the mud again.

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Linux

Re: Why no specialised court in US?

There is a specialized appeals court - the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - for patent matters. Patents are a federal issue not affected by states' rights considerations.

Specialized government organizations like the Patent and Trademark Office and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit present a risk of something like regulatory capture. The PTO exists for the purpose of issuing patents, and in combination with the fact that it is far more costly to reject a patent application than to grant the patent, and granting the patent is easier to measure for employee productivity purposes, it is unsurprising that a good many patents are issued that some might consider questionable or unwarranted. The CAFC exists to decide appeals of patent decisions in lower courts; it has little incentive to draw clear distinctions or reduce the scope of patentable subject matter. And the ever growing population of patent attornies works diligently to increase the workload at the PTO and, eventually, in the courts and at the CAFC.

So we get what we got.

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Re: Why no specialised court in US?

Not states rights, because this is a federal case!

But I agree: the practice of shopping patent cases to the Eastern District of Texas (as the most egregious example) demands a better system.

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Re: Why does the US not have a patent court like in UK?

Have you LOOKED at our patent system recently? And you want THEM making judicial decisions?

No thanks! A random shot at getting a rational decision is better than none.

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Who wants to bet

That the jury will be going eenie meenie minie mo.......

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Re: Who wants to bet

Not sure how it works in the US but a completely and evenly split jury would probably be quite a good outcome here. Would be about the only way for the "lay person" to say: "We are fed up with you corporate titans using the legal system as the latest blunt instrument to attack each other when you could both be getting on with competing fairly and developing the next products because, yes, some of us like iThings and some of us don't but we'd like them _both_ to be available, please. Oh, and while we're on the subject of tech companies wasting time and money, WHERE'S OUR DAMN FLYING CAR?"

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Re: Who wants to bet

http://xkcd.com/864/

The day we have flying cars is the day I move to a cave and never emerge again. Cave bears would be safer.

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Re: Who wants to bet

Hmm, good point. I would also have accepted "I'm going to live in a cave to avoid the flame wars between the supporters of the iCar and the Nexus Car 7"

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Re: Re: Who wants to bet (AdamT)

Not really because a deadlocked jury would, I believe, result in a mistrial and having to start the entire process over from the beginning.

I think the proper solution would be that of Douglas Adams' Judiciary Pag, LIVR (the Learned, Impartial and Very Relaxed).

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Re: Who wants to bet (AdamT)

Well, that was sort of my point. The current legal process (and here my lack of US legal knowledge doesn't help) may well not be able to cope gracefully with the Jury sentiment of "We don't know (or care)" but a deadlock followed by both sides having to seriously consider if they want to start all over again might be the only way that message can currently be sent. Similar to the Jubilee Line fraud trial here (in the UK) where it went on for about 2 years, the jury was shrinking (due to illness, pregnancies, etc.) and then one day the remaining members basically said to the judge "this is stupid, we don't understand any of it, we're fed up and we want our lives back so we're going home". And the judge, who could have found them all in contempt, said "fair enough, off you go" !

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Re: Who wants to bet

And at that point, Apple and Samsung would have the option of doing what Judge Koh suggested and reaching an agreement. Apple would have the additional option of refiling, using the knowledge they have gained during the present trial. Does anyone think they wouldn't?

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Re: Who wants to bet

IF the jury are truly in a "a pox on both your houses" mood, the most likely outcome is that they find against both sides: Samsung doesn't infringe Apple's patent, Apple doesn't infringe Samsung's.

It's a preposterous outcome, because it's not actually in question that Apple does infringe Samsung's patent, but juries are good at preposterous!

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Stop

I don't understand how Apple get away with this theory that because 2 million Samsung products have been sold - they are lost sales?

If someone wanted an iDevice - they would have bought one, it is only a lost sale if for whatever you reason - you cannot provide a service to a customer that wants it (eg someone goes to an Apple store for an iPhone and the Apple store cannot provide one). To claim that you lost a sale because someone bought a competing product is stupid.

If Film A comes out at the cinema and I have no interest in watching it, but then a few weeks later Film B comes out and I go and see it - Film A has not lost a sale - as I would never have gone to see it.

If however I had wanted to see Film A, but the cinema was full and couldn't take any more customers - then Film A has lost a sale.

However - were Apple not (in my personal opinion) bullies who on the one hand say things like "we don't care about money, we just want to create products people love to use" while on the other hand moaning about hypothetical "lost sales" - and much more importantly - if they would acknowledge that if you pay money for a lump of hardware - you own the hardware. I do not want to buy a device - but still not really own it (and yes I know some Android manufacturers are just as bad - but the big difference is - the Android manufacturers did not try to get it made illegal to "Jailbreak" the device you bought) - if these things were different - then I might have considered an iDevice - in this way - they have lost a sale - but not due to competing devices.

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