Ina Fried

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Latest Front in the Apple vs. Samsung Battle: Jury Instructions

There have been battles over which witnesses can testify, what documents the jury can see and even where each party will sit.

Now, Apple and Samsung are fighting over the legal instructions that the jury will get just before it begins its deliberations. Those deliberations are still at least a week away, with each side having used up roughly half of their allotted 25 hours of time before the jury.

But the battle over those instructions is heating up.

The two parties agreed on a number of instructions contained in a 30-page filing on Monday. However, a second, 273-page filing contains all of the matters that are in dispute.

Jury instructions are often a source of debate in a lawsuit, especially in a high-stakes, complex case like this, where the jury will be asked to sort through complicated notions such as patent validity and willful infringement. There are also other kinds of disputes, with each side trying to use the legal instructions as a final way to help make their case.

Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the San Jose, Calif., case, said in a weekend order that she was disappointed that there wasn’t more agreement on the matter.

“The Court is disappointed by the parties’ respective reports regarding their meet and confer efforts on final jury instructions,” Koh wrote in a weekend order requiring the two sides to meet.

On Monday morning, she asked the sides to provide the disputed instructions (in Microsoft Word format) as well as six printed copies, so that the court can start settling the matter.

Koh said she hopes that testimony will wrap up on Friday, with discussion of jury instructions on Monday, and closing arguments to take place on Tuesday.


Apple versus Samsung Full Coverage

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work