After three grueling weeks of the tech world’s highest profile patent trial, and hearing both sides of arguments, the jury in the Samsung-Apple trial were given final instructions by Judge Lucy Koh on what they should be deciding.
The jury will hand down one of two potential verdicts. A ruling in Apple’s favor could lead to a ban on Samsung products and force Samsung to change its designs or pay licensing fees. A Samsung favored outcome could taint Apple’s reputation of being the world’s leading tech innovator.
Being on this jury is anything but easy, as they’ve been given a total of 84 instructions after Judge Koh gave the jury a crash course in patent and trademark law. Hit the break for a brief overview from a few of the more important ones.
Jurors will be given various Apple and Samsung products as evidence, and have been told to use them in deliberations and even use them to connect to the internet via the court’s WiFi network. They may not, however, alter the software in any way or insert SIM cards. They are not allowed to accept, download and install any potential software updates. If prompted they must choose to install the software “later”.
Determine whether iPads were “distinctive”
Jurors will need to decide two things. First they must decide if Apple has established a distinctive brand with the iPhone and iPad, and also decide if consumers could be confused about the “sources of Samsung’s goods”. This means if consumers could confuse Samsung’s products for Apple’s iPad and iPhone.
Decide whether Apple was an innovator
Samsung asked the jury to decide if Apple’s products were truly innovative, or if they simply copied others as well. This stems from Apple’s claim of Samsung being a copycat.
Weighing experts carefully
As in any trial, jurors must carefully decide on what they believe from what they’ve heard from the highly paid expert witnesses brought in by both companies.
Were violations “willful”?
If the jury decides any patents were infringed upon, they must also decide if they were willful. Thankfully for Samsung, they benefited from a last minute change to these instructions. Originally, a magistrate judge ruled that Samsung failed to preserve emails associated with this case, but Judge Koh overruled it stating that both companies failed to preserve the evidence.
We could see a verdict by the end of the week. Does anyone want to make any predictions?
Source: The Washington Post