Apple, Samsung on trial: Who's judging?

The high-profile case has begun - but who is going to judge the two technology giants?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

The high-profile case has begun - but who is going to judge the two technology giants as they lock horns in a court room?

Kicking off in San Jose, Calif., just a few miles away from Apple and Google's headquarters, the dispute brought before federal court between the two rival firms, Apple and Samsung, is likely to take a minimum of four weeks to resolve.

But what do we know about the jury, now selected, who will be deciding a case that has the potential to rewrite the tenents of patent ownership and use?

CNN rounded up the 10 individuals, based in Santa Clara, Calif., who were chosen Monday from a prospective pool of 74 jurors. Based on reports from other publications, the seven men and three women who will be judging the technology giants stand as follows:

A social worker, a systems engineer, an AT&T supervisor, a store operations manager, a city worker for Gilroy, a benefits and payroll manager, and an unemployed video gamer who aims to attain a software degree in order to design video games in the future.

The pool of potential jurors were asked questions to try and gauge whether they were impartial or not. This included what kinds of mobile device and computers they use, whether they owned Apple or Samsung stock, how they generally used the Internet, and what previous knowledge they possessed about the case.

Almost everyone used one or more products developed by the rival firms. One in particular, who works as a designer at Google, owns two Samsung smartphones, two iPads, a Samsung Galaxy tablet and a Nook Color.

The jurors were also asked if they had strong feelings concerning the case based on what the media has reported, whether they had read books about either company, and if they had personal connections at either firm.

Several potential jurors who were dismissed had valid excuses; including one whose son apparently works in Apple's legal department; an Apple employee who already made his mind up before hearing the case, and an engineer who had registered over 120 patents.

Another juror was dismissed after saying that the case reminded him of Apple's legal battle with Microsoft in the 1990s, of which Apple was unsuccessful in the majority. 

Apple requested that the Google employee be dismissed in kind, but judge Lucy Koh dismissed the idea, saying that the juror had answered "fairly and truthfully." Instead, Apple's hand was forced and it used one of its four preemptory challenges to strike the employee from the list before the case began. Each company recieved a handful of challenges to eliminate individuals from the jury before the trial is set in motion. 

Opening statements in the case are due to be heard today.

The battle began in 2011, when Apple's accusation against its rival concerning mobile device designs received a counter-sue response. Both companies say the other has violated design and technology-based patents, and they both are battling for financial restitution.

See also: Crucial California trial begins in Apple vs Samsung case

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