Remember the 50 hours of testimony they heard during the trial. Understand and remember the 109 pages of jury instructions. Compare 21 Samsung smartphones and tablets to 10 of Apple’s patents in a variety of ways. Arrive at a unanimous decision.
By all accounts, the jury has its hands full. Some are saying it would be difficult for patent law experts to make sense of all the information and come to decisions on all the various possible infringements.
A PC Magazine article said the jurors will be deciding on three patent classes: “utility/technical, design and trade dress—basically how a product looks.” And that the amount of technical and legal details they have to absorb is “dizzying.”
“I follow technology for a living,” wrote PC Magazine’s Dan Costa. “And even I found the legal and technical details here arcane.”
He’s not the only one. University of California law professor Robin Feldman agrees, saying in a video interview with the Washington Post that…
…This case is unmanageable for a jury. There are more than 100 pages of jury instructions. I don’t give that much reading to my law students. [The jurors] can’t possibly digest it.
So the jurors are going to look for something they can grab onto, some image that sticks in their minds that helps them make sense out of this. Here the lawyers are going to play a very important role—who can tell a story that has a ring of truth. Who can make sense out of this flurry of technical information.
As for the lawyers, PC Magazine’s Costa thinks it comes down to whether they believe the Apple lawyers or the Samsung lawyers, who are painting different pictures for them.
Apple’s attorneys want the jury to believe that Samsung deliberately copied the iPhone, feature by feature. Samsung’s attorneys want the jury to think Apple is simply trying to beat their opponents through lawsuits.
The Guardian is reporting that Apple provided as evidence internal Samsung documents that basically show the company comparing “its own smartphones minutely against the iPhone in trying to design their own.”
Meanwhile, Samsung introduced a host of other products that dispute whether Apple should have the patents on the designs in question in the first place. Or whether they “should not have been patented because similar features already existed.”
According to Costa, jurors may have to rely on their instincts more than anything else to find an answer.
“With so much technical and legal jargon to parse, in the end I suspect most jurors will vote with their gut,” he wrote.
So much for the 109 pages of jury instructions.
“In fact, Apple and Samsung are scheduled to go to trial again a year and a half from now,” Feldman said. “Same courtroom. Same products. Same judge. Different patents.”
No, I don’t suppose it’ll end anytime soon.