The ongoing intellectual property litigation between Apple and Samsung continues to make headlines months after the blockbuster verdict was announced. Samsung is seeking a new trial on the basis of juror misconduct.
Samsung alleges that the foreman of the jury that awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages failed to disclose his involvement in two legal matters—a personal bankruptcy in 1993 and a lawsuit by his former employer, Seagate Technology Inc. According to court documents, Samsung has a “substantial strategic relationship” with Seagate and the lawyer who filed the complaint against juror Velvin Hogan is married to an attorney employed by the firm representing Samsung in its current IP litigation with Apple.
“Mr. Hogan’s failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore,” Samsung argued in support of a new trial. The company also suggested that the juror failed to disclose the lawsuits in an effort to “secure a seat on the jury.”
Even if the juror was not entirely truthful, Samsung will likely have a difficult time proving bias. Federal courts have routinely held that not all juror biases adversely affect a litigant’s right to a fair trial.
Under the Supreme Court’s two-prong test, “[T]o obtain a new trial in such a situation, a party must first demonstrate that a juror failed to answer honestly a material question on voir dire, and then further show that a correct response would have provided a valid basis for a challenge for cause.” Here, Hogan maintains that he was only asked to disclose his involvement in any litigation within the past ten years and that both matters occurred outside of the specified time period, according to a Bloomberg report.
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As this case highlights, many IP cases do not end with a jury verdict. Through post-trial motions and the appeals process, litigants can continue to challenge prior rulings and, in some cases, ultimately prevail.
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