Mike Isaac

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Apple-Samsung Jurors Will Have to Hash Through a Daunting List of Complex Questions

As the Apple-Samsung patent trial wound down in San Jose on Monday, the companies each submitted a proposed juror verdict form, an exhaustive set of questions members of the jury must answer as they determine the validity of the multiple patents in question in the case.

Their ultimate fate: Trudging through a document dump of the worst kind — one for a patent trial.

There are, of course, two lawsuits in question — Apple’s suit against Samsung and Samsung’s countersuit against Apple — so the jury will have to review both companies’ claims for merit. That means sorting through the 20-odd Samsung-manufactured cellphones and tablets and checking off whether each violates one of the handful of patents in question. It also means deliberating on damages award amounts, should either side score a victory.

Each side has their own version of what document the jury should receive, and they’re spending most of Monday afternoon arguing the finer points of the document that will be give to the jury before it starts deliberations later this week. Judge Lucy Koh will make the final decision on the content and on Monday afternoon filed another version of the verdict form for both sides to take a look at. Aside from the form, jurors will also get upward of 100 more pages of instruction documents.

Such is the case for gnarly technology-based patent lawsuits, especially those that cover multiple devices and potential violations. Plainly speaking, it’s complicated.

Remember, for either party to be found in violation of a specific patent, the jurors are required to rule unanimously. And with so many options to sift through, it’s not a sure bet on whether the jury can agree on any potential violation in full.

Here’s the tentative verdict form. Below it are the proposed forms submitted by Apple and Samsung.




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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google