Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Judge angered after Samsung sends evidence denied from trial to the media

Samsung is apparently not one to take no for an answer. The company, which saw U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh deny them the ability to introduce certain evidence in their trial with Apple, decided if jurors couldn't see it, the court of public opinion could.

It's been known that Samsung wanted to make the argument ... in court ... that the original iPhone's design derived from earlier Sony concepts. Samsung on Tuesday released evidence to the media about about its F700 phone, which was in development months prior to the January 2007 introduction of the iPhone, as well as internal emails that the company says show Apple pursuing a Sony-style design.

While all of this information has been public for days, Samsung's motions to include it in the trial have been denied because the company introduced it too late in the discovery process.

Tuesday, after Apple briefly showed the F700 on a slide during its opening statements, Samsung again asked the court to reconsider, claiming that Apple had "opened the door" to discussion of the device. It's something we laypeople have seen before in TV trials.

However, Koh would have none of it, saying that she had already heard several motions to reconsider the evidence.

Samsung then took the unusual tactic of emailing the evidence to the media: two slides showing Samsung phone designs and an excerpt from the deposition of former Apple designer Shin Nishibori.

A statement was sent along with the evidence:

"The Judge's exclusion of evidence on independent creation meant that even though Apple was allowed to inaccurately argue to the jury that the F700 was an iPhone copy, Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design for that and other phones that were in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone. The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence."

When told of the release by Apple, Koh was noticeably upset. "I want Mr. Quinn's [lead Samsung attorney John Quinn] declaration as to what his role was. I want to know who authorized it."

Why would Samsung go through this when it's obviously going to blow up in its face? It could be that Samsung is laying the groundwork for an appeal. The company clearly believes the evidence should be in the court record, and unless the jurors in the case are in a bubble, they have to hear about this.

Samsung's protestations also will serve as ammo if the company seeks an appeal. First, however, this trial has to conclude.

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