updated 07:41 pm EDT, Mon August 13, 2012
Telecom pres, F700 designer barred from testimony
Samsung suffered a sizable setback in its patent battle with Apple over the weekend, as US District Judge Lucy Koh barred the South Korean manufacturer from presenting two witnesses. Patent case analyst Florian Mueller covered the decision, finding that Koh's exclusion of the two witnesses could significantly hinder Samsung's efforts to argue that its products do not infringe on Apple's designs.
Samsung sought to bring forward Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Telecommunications America, and Hyong Shin Park, who had designed the F700, which is one of the phones Samsung says would exonerate it of charges of copying the iPhone -- despite the fact that Apple says the F700 does not infringe its patents. Samsung defied the judge and "leaked" the phone's information to the media after Koh barred the company from presenting it during the trial.
Apple had previously attempted to get Samsung to present Sohn for deposition, but Samsung refused, arguing that Apple could not show that Sohn had any unique first-hand material knowledge. Samsung later attempted to get Sohn added to the list of witnesses, saying that he would testify regarding Samsung's "innovative technology and products." Koh rejected this argument, though, stating that "Samsung cannot now claim that Sohn has knowledge ... after refusing for months to produce him for deposition."
With regard to Hyong Shin Park, Koh noted that Ms. Park had not designed any of the devices Apple claims are in infringement, including the F700. Samsung is allowed to present the F700, which Park worked on, in connection with the question of the functional design elements of the iPhone. Koh held that allowing Park to testify as to other elements of design could lead to jury confusion and, given that she had not worked on other accused phones, that was deemed an unnecessary risk.