The wheels are set in motion. The jury has been chosen -- with a few minor mishaps and entertaining disclosures -- and the opening statements issued. Now, the high-profile Apple v. Samsung case has taken another interesting turn, as the latter managed to infuriate the judge through an information leak to reporters.
The U.S. judge overseeing the case, Lucy Koh, became 'enraged' after Samsung leaked evidence to the media after she had barred the material from court.
In order to try and persuade the jury that Apple's designs were not stolen for its own smartphone products, the South Korean company continually attempted to submit data on its F700 smartphone design -- which predates Apple's iPhone -- as evidence. However, Judge Lucy Koh excluded this paperwork due to late submission, as well as refusing to acknowledge internal emails that allege Apple was trying to design a phone based on Sony's products.
The Register reports that lawyer John Quinn, part of Samsung's legal team, made another attempt to get the F700 evidence submitted this week. An image of the design appeared on slides provided by Apple, which is a key factor for the jury -- how Samsung phones altered from 2006 to 2010. He apparently said to the court:
"In 36 years, I've never begged the court. I'm begging the court now. What's the point in having a trial?"
The heartfelt plea seemed to fall on deaf ears. Koh's response? "Don't make me sanction you. Please."
In retaliation of Judge Koh's decree and refusal to include the evidence, Samsung released the slides it wanted to submit to court, along with a statement -- to the press instead. The statement read:
"The judge's exclusion of evidence on independent creation meant that even though Apple was allowed to inaccurately argue to the jury that the F700 was an iPhone copy, Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design for that and other phones that were in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone.
The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence."
In the words of reporters present at court, the judge was "livid" at the release, saying: "I want to know who drafted the press release, who authorised it, who released it and I want a declaration from Mr Quinn [on] what his role was."
The case is expected to continue for at least four weeks. Samsung may have raised the hackles on the judge's back, but there is some good news for the smartphone maker. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Court (CAFC) has granted a delay on the imposition of a sales ban on the Galaxy Nexus, which gives the company a temporary stay until at least 20 August, pending an appeal.