Jury asks for more info in Apple v. Samsung -- including what Steve Jobs directed

The eight-person jury aks for evidence to address four questions about what the leaders of Apple and Samsung were thinking. Judge Lucy Koh shoots down the request.

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The jury for Apple v. Samsung sent several questions to the court. Screenshot by Shara Tibken/CNET

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The jury in Apple v. Samsung has a few burning questions -- but they're not going to get the answers.

The eight-member jury sent a note to Judge Lucy Koh at 10:15 a.m. PT on Wednesday with five questions. She called lawyers back to the courtroom about an hour later to determine how to respond. (The delay was because Koh had sentencing for other trials on her docket.)

In the notes, the jury wanted to know if there was evidence to show what former Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at the moment he directed his company to sue Samsung and whether that directive included Google. The jury also wanted to know if there was any evidence that would answer how Apple chose its five patents to wield in the case and whether they were identified to Apple executives before or after the decision was made to pursue the case.

"Is there any evidence available to us that would answer this question?" the jury asked each time.

As for Samsung's patents, the jury wanted to know how the company chose the two patents it purchased and who recommended those acquisitions. It also asked what the CEO of Samsung did at the moment he first heard that Apple had accused the Korean company of patent infringement and how he directed Samsung to respond.

Unfortunately for the jury, only the final question -- if it could have eight copies of the jury verdict form -- got a "yes" from Koh. The lawyers and the judge decided to tell the jury to follow jury instructions No. 5 and 6, that they can consider all of the testimony and evidence presented during the case and that they won't be receiving any more evidence now that the trial is over.

We "want them to know we can't give them more facts at this point," Koh said.

Almost two years after Apple and Samsung faced off in a messy patent dispute, the smartphone and tablet rivals returned to the same courtroom here to battle once again over patents before Koh. Apple argued that Samsung infringed on five of its patents for the iPhone, its biggest moneymaker, and that Apple is due $2.2 billion for that infringement. Samsung wants about $6.2 million from Apple for infringing two of its software patents, and it argued that even if it did infringe all of Apple's patents, it should have to pay only $38.4 million.

Note from jury in Apple v. Samsung on April 30.

While the companies are asking for damages, the case is about more than money. What's really at stake is the market for mobile devices. Apple now gets two-thirds of its sales from the iPhone and iPad; South Korea-based Samsung is the world's largest maker of smartphones; and both want to keep dominating the market. So far, Apple is ahead when it comes to litigation in the US. Samsung has been ordered to pay the company about $930 million in damages.

The two companies presented their closing arguments Tuesday. The case was handed to the jury of four men and four women shortly before 3 p.m. PT that day. The jury is made up of tech novices such as a police officer and a retired teacher. Only one member, a former IBM software executive, has experience in technology. Another works in renewable energy. Though the two sides presented testimony only on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, the jury will deliberate from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT each business day until it has a verdict.

The monthlong trial, which kicked off March 31 with jury selection, contained about 52 hours of testimony, three hours of opening arguments, and four hours of closings. It covered everything from the invention of the technology at issue in the case to what damages should total. Apple argued throughout the trial that its case was about Samsung, not Google, and that Samsung copied Apple out of desperation. Samsung, meanwhile, argued that Apple's suit was about hurting competition and Android.

In the current case, Apple and Samsung have accused each other of copying features used in their popular smartphones and tablets, and the jury will have to decide who actually infringed and how much money is due. This trial involves different patents and newer devices than the ones disputed at trial in August 2012 and in a damages retrial in November 2013. For instance, the new trial involves the iPhone 5, released in September 2012, and Samsung's Galaxy S3, which also debuted in 2012.

There are seven patents at issue in the latest case -- five held by Apple and two by Samsung. Apple has accused Samsung of infringing US patents Nos. 5,946,647; 6,847,959; 7,761,414; 8,046,721; and 8,074,172. All relate to software features, such as "quick links" for '647, universal search for '959, background syncing for '414, slide-to-unlock for '721, and automatic word correction for '172. Overall, Apple argues that the patents enable ease of use and make a user interface more engaging.

Samsung, meanwhile, has accused Apple of infringing US patents Nos. 6,226,449 and 5,579,239. The '449 patent, which Samsung purchased from Hitachi, involves camera and folder organization functionality. The '239 patent, which Samsung also acquired, covers video transmission functionality and could have implications for Apple's use of FaceTime.

The Samsung gadgets that Apple says infringe are the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S II, Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy SII Skyrocket, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, and the Stratosphere. Samsung, meanwhile, says the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (fifth generation) and iPod Touch (fourth generation) all infringe. It initially accused the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, and iPad Mini of infringing its '239 patent, but it later dropped those claims.That also reduced the amount Samsung wanted in damages to $6.2 million from its originally requested $6.8 million.

 

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