updated 10:32 pm EDT, Sun March 30, 2014
Jury will see instructional video on patent process that features Apple products
Ahead of the second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has overruled objections filed by Samsung over an instructional video on the US patent process that will be shown to jurors. Samsung's attorneys had complained that the video depicts a number of Apple products, in most cases used innocuously, and would be "highly prejudicial" to the jury.
The video (seen below) is called "The Patent Process: An Overview for Jurors" and was created by the Federal Judicial Center. It is an remade version of a video shown before the first Apple trial, but the previous version was considered out-of-date on some points and featured no Apple products, reports AppleInsider.
A number of Apple products are seen in the video, though in some cases Samsung was objecting to the appearance of an (outdated) Apple notebook that is simply carried and used by an actor playing the inventor of a different device. There are portions, however, where Apple products are seen as examples of products that "inspire other inventions" and at one point in the video, according to Samsung's complaint, "the requirements that a patent be new, useful and non-obvious are shown on the screen in front of a still image of an Apple computer."
Koh's ruling overruled Samsung's objection and ordered that the new video, made last November and "carefully crafted, in consultation with judges and members of the bar, to present a balanced view of the patent process" be shown to jurors and include the handout referenced in the video. Samsung had protested the video, saying that it would influence jurors to the idea that Apple products are original and innovative, and worthy of being patented. It is likely that potential jurors are already aware that Apple has patents covering its products and inventions, and will be told in the course of the new trial by Samsung's attorneys that the Galaxy maker also has a rich patent portfolio of its own.
The vast majority of computers shown in the video, including those used by the Patent Office employees themselves, are Windows PCs. Judge Koh was also in charge of the first Apple-Samsung patent battle, which Apple won outright with a jury award of just over $1 billion in damages, though this was later reduced by just over 10 percent in a "damages recalculation" retrial. Samsung is appealing that verdict, but no court date has been set on that.
The judge has already awarded Apple two victories in this new court fight (which covers different patents) in pre-trial hearings, ruling that Samsung did violate one of Apple's five claimed patents and invalidating another Samsung patent due to prior art. Samsung has also withdrawn its previous claims of infringement over self-declared standards-essential patents (SEPs), possibly fearing sanctions or a reversal from the US government if it were to win sales bans based on those claims. The company is being investigated in several global regions over its abuse of SEPs as legal or bargaining weapons.