See the above image? That’s Rock’em Sock’Em Robots, a kid’s toy. But the case between Apple and Samsung isn’t child’s play and has taken a nasty turn. Recently, Samsung sent out a release to media in which it said it was “not allowed to tell the full story” during its arguments in front of the jury. Apple didn’t like that one bit. In fact, it is now calling for “severe sanctions” against Samsung and is asking for “judgement that Apple’s asserted phone design patent claims are valid and infringed by Samsung.” Yep, Apple wants the case to end, now.
“Samsung apparently believes that it is above the law, and that it — not this court— should decide what the evidence the jury should see,” Apple’s legal team said in a letter to Judge Lucy Koh. “Yesterday, the Court once again rejected Samsung’s attempt to introduce evidence related to a defense that was not timely disclosed to Apple. Undaunted, and apparently unwilling to accept the Court’s ruling, Samsung chose to self-help to get its excluded evidence before the jury: it issued a “statement” attaching a set of excluded demonstrative slides and proclaiming that “[f]undamental fairness”required the jury to consider them.” Apple believes the press release “undermines” its “fundamental right to a fair trial by impartial jurors.”
Samsung’s council, John Quinn, has been accused of allowing Samsung to push the statement to the press. Apple said the lawyer rhetorically asked “What’s the point… of having a trial? What’s the point?” Samsung has reportedly been sanctioned four times, one of which was for destroying evidence.
“The proper remedy for Samsung’s misconduct is judgement that Apple’s asserted phone design patents are valid and infringed,” Apple argued. “Through its extraordinary actions yesterday, Samsung sought to sway the jury on the design patent issues, and the proper remedy is to enter judgement against Samsung on those same patents.” The iPhone maker also said that the press leak “substantially increased the likelihood that the jury will see the excluded evidence” and that Samsung’s action cannot be undone.
That’s not all. Apple originally asked for more than $2.5 billion in damages but now wants a permanent injunction.
“Apple is seeking permanent injunctive relief precisely because monetary relief is inadequate to address the harms caused by Samsung’s infringement: Samsung should not be allowed to reduce the risk of injunctive relief by manipulating the jury with extrajudicial statements, then simply pay a fine,” Apple’s legal team argued.
“For the foregoing reasons, Apple respectfully requests that the Court sanction Samsung by granting judgement in favor of Apple on its claim that Samsung infringes Apple’s phone design patents, and granting judgement that those patents are not invalid,” Apple’s letter says. “In the alternative, and at the minimum, the Court should instruct the jury that Samsung engaged in serious misconduct and that, as a result, the Court has made a finding that Samsung copied the asserted designs and features from Apple products; and preclude Samsung from further mentioning or proffering any evidence regarding the “Sony design exercise” for any purpose.”
The aformentioned “Sony design exercise” is one in which Apple’s design chief Jonathan Ive asked fellow Apple designer Shin Nishibori to construct a design that might reflect what a possible “Sony iPhone” would look like. Such a command would seem to suggest that Apple wanted to copy a possible “Sony-style” product. Samsung has argued that it had its own designs that, by coincidence, resemble the iPhone and that the designs were crafted in 2006 — before the original iPhone launched in 2007. As such, Samsung believes it did not create a “copy cat” product.