Apple-Samsung jury: Verdict form may blow your minds

The nine-person jury in the trial between the two tech giants faces a wildly complex form to determine the winner.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh talks to the jury in the Apple vs. Samsung trial.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh talks to the jury in the Apple vs. Samsung trial. Vicki Behringer

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- There is little doubt that the trial between Apple and Samsung taking place here is complex, and perhaps nowhere is that clearer than in the form that jurors will have to fill out on their way to reaching a verdict later this week.

The document, which both sides have yet to agree on, is still in its draft stage. In Samsung's case, it's 33 questions long, and stretched across 17 pages. For Apple, it's 23 questions spread over nine pages.

Jurors, who will soon hear closing arguments from both sides, as well as receive a 100-page instruction document tomorrow, can then look forward to trudging through the form. And if that makes it sound like a walk through a swamp, the comparison may not be all that far off.

Both forms (embedded below) ask jurors to check off which products infringe on specific patent claims, an exercise that includes going through charts that sometimes span several pages. On Apple's form there are some 225 checkboxes regarding patent infringement.

The other parts of the verdict form ask slightly more nebulous questions, like whether claims within the patents from both sides are valid, and the all-important dollar amount that one side or the other is owed as a result of any infringements.

On the bright side, certain patent features are grayed out since not all products carry the identical feature set. That could be a welcome sight for the nine-person jury, who must reach a unanimous decision.

Despite its complexity, legal experts say the form is pretty standard due to what's at stake.

"It's actually par for the course," says Pierre Yanney, a partner with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. "The plaintiff has to show that at least one claim is infringed, and you have to show that for each product that's accused of. You really have to go through the entire list, and each of the claims that's been asserted."

Ahead of the form's latest drafts, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh had asked both sides to narrow their cases, warning that there could be risk -- going so far as to plead with the CEOs of both companies to meet once again to talk settlements. In a filing over the weekend, the companies said they had met to narrow the claims, but did not come to any agreements .

Court picks back up today so that both sides can hash out some last-minute details on the form. The two companies are also dueling over the instructions that will be read to the jury before they get this form. As of last week, there were some 70 disputed items on that document.

In the meantime, here are two most current versions of the verdict form, as per a filing over the weekend:

Apple's:

1825-1

Samsung's:

1825-2
Complete coverage: Apple v. Samsung, a battle over billions

Updated at 12:39 p.m. PT with additional background.

Update at 1:47 p.m. PT: Here's a tentative verdict form, still subject to last-minute changes:


Tentative Verdict Form
 

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