Judge Lucy Koh has denied Samsung's request for a new trial with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), allowing the $1 billion verdict to remain in place. Koh's ruling came a short time after Samsung discovered that jury foreman Velvin Hogan was not truthful during the voir dire, a pre-trial procedure in which attorneys questioned potential jurors about their backgrounds and biases. Samsung argued that Hogan should have disclosed the fact that Seagate (NASDAQ: STX ) -- his former employer -- sued him in 1993 for breach of contract. This is relevant because Samsung is Seagate's largest shareholder.
The judge disagreed. She argued that the South Korean manufacturer could have uncovered the Seagate lawsuit and/or his feelings regarding Seagate simply by exercising "reasonable diligence" in questioning him during the voir dire.
"Moreover, even without asking Mr. Hogan directly, Samsung could have exercised reasonable diligence outside of trial and could have discovered the lawsuit by requesting the bankruptcy file, exactly as Samsung did later, when it became motivated to do so," Koh announced in her ruling, as quoted by CNET .
Assuming there will not be any more surprises, it seems that Apple's victory will remain in place. The amount that Samsung is ordered to pay could change, however. Next year Koh, Apple and Samsung will reconvene for yet another ruling. This time Koh will announce if Samsung will be required to pay more or less than the $1 billion verdict imposed by the jury last August.
In the meantime, Koh has denied Apple's request for a ban on select Samsung devices.
"The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents," Koh wrote in her ruling. "Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions."
That ruling could set an interesting precedent for future patent trials in America, particularly those involving Apple and Samsung. The two tech titans are scheduled to go back to court next summer for an entirely different patent dispute, which could involve the iPhone 5. The irony of its inclusion is that, by the time the trial takes place, Apple will be months (if not weeks) away from releasing the next iPhone.
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