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Misunderstanding of Prior Art May Have Led to Apple-Samsung Verdict

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the surprise-surprise dept.

Patents 503

One of the interesting tidbits that came out of last week's billion-dollar verdict in Apple v. Samsung was that the jury's foreman, a patent holder himself, was instrumental in leading the other members through the various complicated infringement claims. Now, Groklaw analyzes an interview the man gave with Bloomberg News (video), in which his statements reveal a basic misunderstanding of what qualifies as prior art. Quoting Groklaw: "In discussing the first patent on the list, he says they got into a discussion about the prior art that was presented at trial. Here's why they discounted it: 'The software on the Apple side could not be placed into the processor on the prior art and vice versa. That means they are not interchangeable. That changed everything right there.' That isn't disqualifying for prior art. It doesn't have to run on the same processor. It doesn't have to run at all. It can be words on a piece of paper. (If you don't believe little old me, here's a lawyer noticing the video too now.) ... The foreman, in answering criticisms, says that the jury paid close attention to the jury instructions. But looking at this one, did they? I'm sure they meant to, and I'm also sure they did their best according to what they understood. But this was an error, and it's one I don't think the judge can ignore, if anyone brings it to her attention."

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503 comments

Que the False Narratives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170049)

There's been a lot of hilarious false narratives on Slashdot about this like this comment [slashdot.org] :

And pay careful attention to the quote in the summary: the juror says they debated the prior art, then he says they "skipped that one". Hmm. He does not say they failed to consider prior art. He says the first one was bogging them down with the debate on prior art because they found it hard to believe there was not any. Then he says "they skipped that one", which, in context, probably means they put all questions regarding that patent aside to move on and see if the others were easier. But they did rule on it, which means they came back to it--and given their reports that debate was heated, it seems unlikely that they put it aside for a while, then came back and arbitrarily found for Apple without finishing their consideration of the evidence. It is really not reasonable to read that quote as saying the jury skipped consideration of prior art.

Ha, Slashdot is so pro-Apple it's painful. "We skipped that one" turns into "we skipped that one and came back to it" and that gets modded up despite there being no such context in the original source [cnet.com] ! Oh Slashdot, you so funny when you act like a kid and mod up the other kids!

Here, let me try:

'The software on the Apple side could not be placed into the processor on the prior art and vice versa. That means they are not interchangeable. That changed everything right there.'

Naw, like, you just didn't read far enough, man. Hmmm, doesn't that sound fishy to you? I'm just asking questions, don't attack me ... but you know the original context said they took the instructions and studied them for eight weeks and then began enumerating every English sentence ever and considering it as prior art before they moved on. And even then they came back to it. I'm just asking questions, don't get mad at me that this is totally the way patent trials should work and Apple was right and they should get more than a billion dollars and USA #1 USA #1 USA #1.

How was it not returned to? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170193)

"We skipped that one" turns into "we skipped that one and came back to it"

It didn't "turn into" anything.

What was the jury supposed to do other than to return to consider the item later? They had no choice, they HAD to consider it to arrive at a verdict.

You claim Slashdot is full of pro-Apple bias, but it seems equally clear it's full of Apple Haters not willing to consider basic facts.

The new statements however, make far less sense than the simple "we skipped a complex item to return to it later".

Here is the Copy/Pasted Context, Please Show Me (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170235)

"We skipped that one" turns into "we skipped that one and came back to it"

It didn't "turn into" anything.

Here's the original context from the link you were too lazy to click:

"It didn't dawn on us [that we agreed that Samsung had infringed] on the first day," Ilagan said. "We were debating heavily, especially about the patents on bounce-back and pinch-to-zoom. Apple said they owned patents, but we were debating about the prior art [about similar technology that Samsung said existed before the iPhone debuted]. [Velvin] Hogan was jury foreman. He had experience. He owned patents himself...so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier. After we debated that first patent -- what was prior art --because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art."

Ilagan responded to those who suggested the jury came to a verdict in haste. Some are skeptical that the jury could reach a decision so quickly when they were tasked with answering more than 700 often complex patent questions. Members had spent three long weeks in court and the fact that they reached their decision just before the weekend also raised suspicions that the jury winged it at the end.

Now tell me, tell me where it says they returned to it? In 2-3 days they skipped it and returned to it? It happened fast and they skipped at least one instance of prior art. Please come to terms with it and deal with it instead of being blindly pro-Apple.

Re:Here is the Copy/Pasted Context, Please Show Me (1, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#41170481)

Now tell me, tell me where it says they returned to it? In 2-3 days they skipped it and returned to it? It happened fast and they skipped at least one instance of prior art. Please come to terms with it and deal with it instead of being blindly pro-Apple.

Hmm, I notice you didn't actually include the "we skipped that one" quote in your quote. Anyway, in the original sentence, the most reasonable antecedent for "that one" is "the patent", not "the prior art" (especially since for "that one" they claim there was none). And they don't need to tell us that they came back to the patent later--we know they did because it's in the verdict.

It's possible he meant they skipped the "prior art", but it's a rather stretched reading of it.

Re:Here is the Copy/Pasted Context, Please Show Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170557)

"It didn't dawn on us [that we agreed that Samsung had infringed] on the first day," Ilagan said. "We were debating heavily, especially about the patents on bounce-back and pinch-to-zoom. Apple said they owned patents, but we were debating about the prior art [about similar technology that Samsung said existed before the iPhone debuted]. [Velvin] Hogan was jury foreman. He had experience. He owned patents himself...so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier. After we debated that first patent -- what was prior art --because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art."

"In fact we skipped that one," Ilagan continued, "so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down."

Ilagan responded to those who suggested the jury came to a verdict in haste. Some are skeptical that the jury could reach a decision so quickly when they were tasked with answering more than 700 often complex patent questions. Members had spent three long weeks in court and the fact that they reached their decision just before the weekend also raised suspicions that the jury winged it at the end.

So what you're saying is that when you tell someone that you skipped something that it implicitly means you came back to it? So if I gave you an item list of things to do or to get done and you say "In fact I skipped that one so I could go on faster. It was bogging us down." You mean that you skipped it and then came back to it? That is some strange new mastery of the English language, good sir!

Re:Que the False Narratives (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#41170415)

I think Groklaw did a pretty solid job of going over the quotes. The later section about how much they studied the instructions do not invalidate his rather shaky interpretation of what counts as prior art, esp since he did not use the same standard to determine what counted as infringement.

Re:Que the False Narratives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170475)

Michael Malak ( is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Mike: Sure. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

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He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

Re:Que the False Narratives (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170571)

Ha, Slashdot is so pro-Apple it's painful. "We skipped that one" turns into "we skipped that one and came back to it" and that gets modded up despite there being no such context in the original source [cnet.com] ! Oh Slashdot, you so funny when you act like a kid and mod up the other kids!

You are a fool. First off, even without any references to check, the implied meaning in that statement is almost crystal clear. But I suppose in case you are too stupid, we can reference the interview the juror gave (which is actually the REAL original source).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9cnQcTC2JY [youtube.com]

In it, at about the 4:00 mark he talks about trying to not get hung up on one question, so they do the simple things FIRST, so that when they come back it would be easier. At the 5:15 mark he says "we're gonna move on and come back to this". At the 6:10 mark he talks about how eventually they would come back to those question, and having moved on and answering the other questions taught them enough that it made those skipped questions easier to answer.

Hey now, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170053)

Being judged by an idiot who knows nothing about the law is a cornerstone of our civilization.

Re:Hey now, (5, Funny)

bshellenberg (779684) | about a year ago | (#41170115)

O.J. agrees, and says "thank you".

Re:Hey now, (5, Funny)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year ago | (#41170409)

O.J. agrees, and says "thank you".

If the software don't fit, you must convict.

Re:Hey now, (5, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#41170511)

The problem with the OJ trial is that all the evidence failed on a chain of custody basis. Hence, the jury was left with the limo driver's testimony.

Re:Hey now, (3, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#41170675)

Yeah, the police pretty much did their best job possible to fuck up their case against him. Johnny Cochran was basically handed the win.

Re:Hey now, (3, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year ago | (#41170733)

That and the jury was 12 idiots selected because they never read the news and weren't that familiar with the events. When the prosecution was able to show all their DNA evidence, they presented the evidence as a series of numbers and odds. The jurors said in exit interviews they had no idea what they were listening to, and thusly ignored all the DNA evidence.

It's worse than that. (5, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#41170401)

The forman, Velvin Hogan is, IMHO, a patent troll. His "invention" [google.com] is a TiVo, with options for a few minor and obvious additions (removable storage!, how inventive). He filed for the patent 3 years after TiVo first shipped.

Seems to me he's just an opportunistic SOB hoping to make some money from some company who would rather pay than fight. Of course he wants to defend patents against invalidation due to obviousness or prior art. His would be worthless if that were easy to do.

Re:It's worse than that. (4, Insightful)

Xiaran (836924) | about a year ago | (#41170505)

After reading the summary of that patent I realised I have had a device for years that matches that description. I like to call it my laptop.

Re:It's worse than that. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170595)

You can't read the summary of the patent, the summary is essentially meaningless. If you want to know what ACTUALLY is covered under a patent, you MUST read the claims. As a shortcut, you can read claim 1 (until you learn the difference between independent and dependent claims).

Re:It's worse than that. (5, Funny)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#41170663)

No no, you cannot put it into the same processor. That changes everything right there.

Can you imagine... (5, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about a year ago | (#41170061)

That if you were on this jury, that foreman would be valuable ewed as the expert by easily impressed everyman and you'd be arguing how silly his position is while the other jurors shot you down because "he has expertise, where's your patent?" ugh. I am glad for my mental health I was nowhere near that jury room.

Re:Can you imagine... (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year ago | (#41170101)

I almost wish I was in the jury. Maybe I could have prevented the idiotic verdict.

Re:Can you imagine... (0, Flamebait)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#41170209)

I almost wish I was in the jury. Maybe I could have prevented the idiotic verdict.

They saw the evidence; you did not. You disagree with verdict, therefore it is idiotic. Yes, logic at its best.

Re:Can you imagine... (2)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about a year ago | (#41170275)

You don't read the news on the intarwebs much do you?

Re:Can you imagine... (1, Informative)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#41170461)

You don't read the news on the intarwebs much do you?

No, I'm just no so egotistical that I think I'm superior to a jury when I've only seen a tiny fraction of the evidence as presented on opinion sites.

Re:Can you imagine... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#41170625)

You don't read the news on the intarwebs much do you?

No, I'm just no so egotistical that I think I'm superior to a jury when I've only seen a tiny fraction of the evidence as presented on opinion sites.

Actually the jury was shown LESS than is available from "opinion sites" like little old slashdot. It's up to the judge to decide what's admissible (and for what reason) when it comes to the jury. When it comes to "opinion sites", anything goes. What sounds more thorough to you?

Re:Can you imagine... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170659)

Quantity of evidence is meaningless, the only thing that matters is relevance of evidence. Remember that faggot.

Re:Can you imagine... (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#41170703)

Quantity of evidence is meaningless, the only thing that matters is relevance of evidence. Remember that faggot.

Hey, stupid name-calling troll. Quantity makes it hard to discern quality - you are supporting my point.

Re:Can you imagine... (2)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#41170319)

Why do you assert that he did not see the evidence? Perhaps the verdict is idiotic therefore he disagrees with it rather than the other way around that you suggest.

Re:Can you imagine... (0)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#41170515)

Why do you assert that he did not see the evidence? Perhaps the verdict is idiotic therefore he disagrees with it rather than the other way around that you suggest.

Because if he were on the jury, I'm sure he would have said so. Most of the anti-Apple camp here claim that with all the evidence, how could the jury find a verdict in one week. Yet they arrive at their verdict ("idiotic") without even faster and without even seeing that mound of evidence.

Re:Can you imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170357)

You agree with the verdict, therefore out is not idiotic, and anybody that disagrees is at fault.

Re:Can you imagine... (0)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#41170657)

You agree with the verdict, therefore out is not idiotic, and anybody that disagrees is at fault.

Another great leap of logic. I did not indicate if I agreed or not, just that his evaluation of idiotic was not evidence-based.

Re:Can you imagine... (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#41170267)

I almost wish I was in the jury. Maybe I could have prevented the idiotic verdict.

Did you listen to all of the testimony from every witness? I know an entire group of people who did who would disagree with you.

Re:Can you imagine... (4, Insightful)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about a year ago | (#41170325)

Are you referring to the parts where they contradicted themselves, or the parts where they awarded large sums of money to "punish" Samsung, when twice in the jury instructions, it is stated that the award is to cover losses and not to punish the parties involved?

Re:Can you imagine... (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#41170723)

And I can point to numerous people who were convicted of crimes they didn't commit and were wrongfully jailed and/or executed because of this. I'm sure at the time of those convictions there were people making the same claims as you. There is a good reason we have appeals because it is absurd to believe that juries cannot be incorrect in their rulings.

Re:Can you imagine... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170245)

The jury was picked to ensure there was no tech skilled or knowledgeable people. I'm surprised they let this guy remain and be allowed to influence the others so quickly on such a massive trail. But then the judge was very much a homer in all her but most trivial decisions.

Stuff like this should be judged by experts in the field, and not laymen getting influenced by polished legals. It would be over much quicker and have a much saner result.

Re:Can you imagine... (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | about a year ago | (#41170371)

"The jury was picked to ensure there was no tech skilled or knowledgeable people. I'm surprised they let this guy remain and be allowed to influence the others so quickly on such a massive trail. But then the judge was very much a homer in all her but most trivial decisions." Last I looked the Jury was full of tech people, including 4-5 people who were IBM employees. And none of them used iPhones but a few used Androids.

we need special juries in cases covering stuff lik (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#41170437)

we need special juries in cases covering stuff like tech, prior art, patents, med, doctors.

As a court room is a poor place to learn about deep issues covering tech cases and the pay is way to low.

I think there was a few cases where where only 1 IT person the jury and some went to prison now with that jury had more then 1 IT person on it then maybe that person will not be in lockup right now.

Cases need viewpoints for people in the field and only havering 1 can get you a one sided view

Re:Can you imagine... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170261)

The usual slashbot argument is "Juries are made up of know-nothing mailmen, we need to have special juries with technical experts (like us)." Then you get a guy who is exactly your typical silicon valley engineer and it's all "no fair, he's an expert! waawaaa" It's hilariously ironic.

Re:Can you imagine... (3, Interesting)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year ago | (#41170577)

The problem is having one so-called expert, and 11 laymen in the room. It should either be all experts or all laymen.

Re:Can you imagine... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170403)

"he has expertise, where's your patent?"

My response would be "Go fuck yourself, that's where. Follow the fucking jury instructions like I am, or we'll be here until a mistrial's declared."

But perhaps I'm a tad idealistic, but... seriously, if you're not going to follow the fucking law when rendering the verdict, what the fuck is the point of having laws?

Use him for appeal (4, Informative)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#41170073)

Samsung can use his misunderstanding during their appeal.

On the other hand, there's no guarantee that the next jury will be any better than this one.

Re:Use him for appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170135)

Samsung can use his misunderstanding during their appeal.

On the other hand, there's no guarantee that the next jury will be any better than this one.

Correct, but hopefully the judge will be better...

Re:Use him for appeal (2)

falcon5768 (629591) | about a year ago | (#41170331)

I dont know this judge was pretty good in doing her job and thats being a judge. You might not like what she did during the trial, but she properly applied the law in her rulings including the ones that threw out prio-art claims by Samsung as they didnt properly follow procedures.

Re:Use him for appeal (5, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#41170559)

Not really. She was repeatedly biased toward Apple. She allowed Apple to show their prior art to prove Samsung copied, but did not allow Samsung to show other prior art which would have invalidated Apple's design patents showing that everyone copies.

That doesn't seem like doing "pretty good". The whole point of a patent case is whether the patent was valid or not. And prior art is the top way to invalidate a patent.

Re:Use him for appeal (0)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year ago | (#41170139)

How many more courts are there before they hit the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court doesn't have a jury.

Re:Use him for appeal (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170271)

appeals courts don't have juries either you retard.

Re:Use him for appeal (5, Funny)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about a year ago | (#41170345)

Obviously that is the appeal. :o)

Re:Use him for appeal (1, Informative)

Zordak (123132) | about a year ago | (#41170641)

Read the first couple pages of this [ua.edu] and then tell me that this verdict is going to get overturned on appeal for jury misconduct.

It is very hard to toss out a jury verdict. (In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law) (Seventh Amendment).

This will get appealed to the Federal Circuit, and if Samsung wins, it will be on grounds other than the fact that the jury foreman had an axe to grind. I'm not aware of any issue in this case so juicy that the Supreme Court is likely to take it up.

Re:Use him for appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170159)

that only works if the jury fined them 1.21 jiggawatts

Re:Use him for appeal (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#41170165)

Jury Misconduct. Plain and Simple.

If the trial judge doesn't reject this verdict outright, it gets immediately appealed, and taken out of her hands.

Further Apple's requested ban pretty much is Dead On Arrival with this kind of stuff floating around.
Usually, on appeal, you don't go back to another Jury.

Re:Use him for appeal (4, Informative)

DanTheStone (1212500) | about a year ago | (#41170455)

Jury Misconduct. Plain and Simple.

Agreed. Having served on a jury, this is the kind of thing a foreman is supposed to prevent / report. It turns out that they chose the wrong foreman.

Re:Use him for appeal (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about a year ago | (#41170619)

"Samsung can use his misunderstanding during their appeal."

And you really think that jurors statements about how they deliberated is grounds for appeal?

Why all the butthurt? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170131)

Guys, this is just getting started. Samsung isn't going to let a 1BN judgement go un-apealed.

Samsung, though. (This case is about Samsung and not Andriod. Don't get your panties in a knot) really did go out of their way to copy apple design, look and feel. Touchwiz, the Samsung created UI addition to Andriod, really is a (bad) attempt at making devices more apple like. (I know. Ive got a galaxy tab and a galaxy S2 - I rooted them both to remove it)

One of Apple's biggest assets is their design, look, feel, etc (Trade dress). Did you expect apple to take it laying down?

Re:Why all the butthurt? (3, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year ago | (#41170181)

I would argue that Apple's biggest asset is the apple symbol they stamp on all their products. It seems to have magical properties to make the average consumer deaf to all other alternative products.

Re:Why all the butthurt? (0, Flamebait)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#41170241)

I would argue that Apple's biggest asset is the apple symbol they stamp on all their products. It seems to have magical properties to make the average consumer deaf to all other alternative products.

Yeah, right. Quality and user experience has nothing to do with it. There's just millions of blind idiot fanbois buying there stuff constantly. Sure.

Re:Why all the butthurt? (5, Funny)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about a year ago | (#41170297)

Well, seeing as this case obviously proves that Samsung products are exactly like Apple products, it does sound like there are millions of people being overcharged ;o)

Re:Why all the butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170355)

I would argue that Apple's biggest asset is the apple symbol they stamp on all their products. It seems to have magical properties to make the average consumer deaf to all other alternative products.

It's not just Apple, put a "Harley Davidson" name on something and the same thing happens. The same could be said for any product that has an individual's image or ego attached to it.

Then again, I would like to also point out that being in a household and company where I am using Android, Linux, Apple iOS & OSX, Linux, and Windows, the Apple products have a slight advantage on usability and battery life and construction (Gorilla Glass on their products for example). If it weren't for Apple's control freakish walled garden (I don't believe for a second that it is necessary for their slight superiority ), they would always be my #1 choice for hardware.

Captcha: cheapen

Bad example (2)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about a year ago | (#41170593)

...the Apple products have a slight advantage on usability and battery life and construction (Gorilla Glass on their products for example).

Gorilla glass is not exclusive to the iPhone [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why all the butthurt? (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#41170583)

I have no problem with finding Samsung in violation of Apple's design patents. Their copying there was pretty blatant. It's not "round cornered rectangles," as is often said by those who can't be bothered to understand the issues.

The utility patents (bouncing stops and "pinch to zoom"), OTOH, had very easily found prior art [ted.com] .

Re:Why all the butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170611)

One of Apple's biggest assets is their design, look, feel, etc (Trade dress). Did you expect apple to take it laying down?

One of Apple's smallest assets is their stolen design concepts, look, feel, etc (Trade dress which isn't patentable due to prior art). Did you expect apple to take it lying down? No, we expected them to take it bent over a scalding hot radiator as they should be doing since everything they've patented they stole to begin with.

Apple deserves to be eaten by worms. They're rotten to the core.

Re:Why all the butthurt? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170643)

One of Apple's biggest assets is their design, look, feel, etc (Trade dress). Did you expect apple to take it laying down?

Eh, Apple is getting screwed either way. Even if they win, they lose. Before this trial, consumers in the US mentally lumped Samsung in with Motorola, Sony, and a half-dozen other also-rans. Now Apple is claiming "Samsung copies our products!", "Consumers can't tell the difference!". The longer this case drags out, the more coverage it gets, and the more consumers are going to believe those claims through repetition.

Apple has rebranded Samsung to be in their league. Normally, you can't buy that kind of advertising at any price. Samsung got a bargain at $1B

split. (3, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#41170183)

I am kinda caught between 'shouldn't being a patent holder be considered a conflict of interests and caused the defense to disqualify the person?' and 'wait, a jury member with actual knowledge of a field? that is almost like a peer!'.

Meh, at this point I try not to follow these case too closely... while I hate software patents and think they need to be abolished, I find the reporting and oversimplification almost as bad...

Re:split. (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#41170265)

I am kinda caught between 'shouldn't being a patent holder be considered a conflict of interests and caused the defense to disqualify the person?'

Most definitely not a conflict of interest. If he was a huge shareholder in Apple or Samsung, that would be a conflict of interest.

Re:split. (2)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about a year ago | (#41170367)

then again... when the foreman makes statements after the trial about how he decided he needed to uphold Apple's patents to more or less set precedence in case his own technology based patents were ever in need of defending... that sort of does make it a conflict of interest.

Re:split. (1)

brucek2 (208676) | about a year ago | (#41170441)

Is it a conflict of interest if a jury member feels that he needed to send a murderer to jail because he didn't want himself or his family or anyone else to be injured by that person?

Laws are made to protect society. On balance you'd expect a jury of 12 people to include just the sort of the people who are being protected by those laws.

None of which necessarily means all laws are necessarily good or right, especially ones in rapidly evolving areas like we have here.

Re:split. (4, Insightful)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about a year ago | (#41170527)

It's a conflict of interest if the person isn't clearly guilty of murder, but your reason for convicting and sentencing them to jail time is because you are afraid they might be, yes. If you have some reason to be biased against the defendant in a case, so that that may cloud your judgement unfairly, that is the definition of conflict of interest. Conflict of interest is defined as "A situation that has the potential to undermine the impartiality of a person because of the possibility of a clash between the person's self-interest and professional interest or public interest." or some variation of that depending on what source you use... basically, needing the outcome of this trial to be for the plaintiff (Apple) in order to have a stronger case should he need to defend his own patents in the future is exactly what a conflict of interest is.

Re:split. (4, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#41170615)

Is it a conflict of interest if a jury member feels that he needed to send a murderer to jail because he didn't want himself or his family or anyone else to be injured by that person?

Absolutely. Because the statement assumes that the suspect is the murderer and makes no attempt to evaluate him based on the evidence.

Re:split. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170683)

In this case, the murder was set free, yes, Apple Co. is in effect a murderer, if only in the 2nd or 3rd degree.

How many FoxConn employees were murdered (induced to commit suicide to provide for their families)???

Apple should be given the death penalty for that - start with their top tier of officers. hold them responsible for the actions of the company.

Re:split. (2)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#41170491)

True, he would not meet requirements for a recusal type 'conflict of interest' by a long shot.

I was more thinking of the defense team's right to exclude jury members who they feel would have a bias. As a patent holder it could be argued that he was in favor of patents being upheld. Though the more troubling element is it sounds like he was the one explaining 'what counts' in patent law to the jury (instead of a neutral patent lawyer) so it sounds like he was giving interpretations that were skewed (through personal opinion) in favor of patent holders, and as an authority figure (since no other jury member had that background) his personal biased opinion held additional sway.

Which doesn't make the outcome right or wrong, but it is a rather significant push that the defense attorney could have not allowed.

Re:split. (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#41170589)

True, he would not meet requirements for a recusal type 'conflict of interest' by a long shot. I was more thinking of the defense team's right to exclude jury members who they feel would have a bias. As a patent holder it could be argued that he was in favor of patents being upheld. Though the more troubling element is it sounds like he was the one explaining 'what counts' in patent law to the jury (instead of a neutral patent lawyer) so it sounds like he was giving interpretations that were skewed (through personal opinion) in favor of patent holders, and as an authority figure (since no other jury member had that background) his personal biased opinion held additional sway. Which doesn't make the outcome right or wrong, but it is a rather significant push that the defense attorney could have not allowed.

We are now in agreement.

Re:split. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170495)

Wrong. Any patent holder would be conflicted. Prior art is typically the enemy to any patent holder. If this verdict is not overturned, it will be used as precedent in future trials to effortlessly dismiss prior art.

Re:split. (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#41170535)

Wrong. Any patent holder would be conflicted. Prior art is typically the enemy to any patent holder. If this verdict is not overturned, it will be used as precedent in future trials to effortlessly dismiss prior art.

Being conflicted and having a conflict of interest are not the same thing. Use the interwebs if you are confused.

Re:split. (2)

thesameguy (1047504) | about a year ago | (#41170307)

Samsung could have used up all their dismissals prior to ending up with this guy, OR it could be they viewed a self-proclaimed patent expert (my words) as an asset in their clear-cut case centering around prior art. Tough to say.

Re:split. (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#41170555)

It is also possible he did not disclose his status as a patent holder. That would be an interesting twist.....

Re:split. (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#41170313)

I don't think the fact that there was a patent holder on the jury is a big deal; after all, a jury is ostensibly comprised of your peers. However, the problem is that he was the *only* "peer" on the jury, and in fact acted as an authoritative figure in making decisions. It seems like other jurors deferred to his "expertise" because they were not as well informed as him. There was no "balancing force" behind closed doors, which seems to be why the decision is not nuanced at all, and completely one sided.

Re:split. (1)

twotacocombo (1529393) | about a year ago | (#41170385)

I am kinda caught between 'shouldn't being a patent holder be considered a conflict of interests and caused the defense to disqualify the person?' and 'wait, a jury member with actual knowledge of a field? that is almost like a peer!'.

I wouldn't really consider patent holding a 'field', but unlike most other professions these days, there usually isn't such a thick line between 'sides'. Patent holders, whether they like it or not, have been segregated by the media into the class of victim as of late. Putting a patent holder on this jury is just suspect from the get go. Of course his interests are detached from the specific case, and there's nothing stopping him from giving an impartial verdict, but it just raises too many questions for comfort. It's not as if the majority of the people in the pool are patent holders and it's just an unavoidable reality that one has to be picked...

Re:split. (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#41170389)

I don't think you can say that just being a patent holder creates a conflict of interest unless he has interests in the patents at issue. Maybe you could argue if his patents are themselves silly that he has an interest in upholding silly patents.

Re:split. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170417)

I don't think his participation on the jury is wrong. What is wrong is how he was able to basically act as an expert witness for Apple without chance for cross examination by Samsung. If he were cross examined, then his understanding of prior art would have been thrown out and the jury would be instructed not to use it.

Re:split. (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#41170523)

*nods* which makes me wonder if that alone could get the results thrown out.

Did the jurors talk to Bill Buxton? (5, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#41170205)

Microsoft Engineering Bill Buxton has this nice collection of multitouch systems [billbuxton.com] going back to the early 80s. Pinch to zoom dates back as early as 1982. This collections of prior art makes it plainly obvious that people "skilled in the art" not only would find something like pinch to zoom obvious, the in fact did and implemented it long before the iPhone ever existed.

Was it implemented on a computer you could hold in your hand? No, simply because the technology was not small enough to fit in your hand. But just because Apple was the first to implement it in your hand, does not mean they were in anyway inventing something novel, unique, and non-obvious that deserves patent protection. Apple made a logical, obvious, iteration to a decades old technology. I don't see how this is possibly a point of contention, and the fact the jurors went the other way on this leads me to believe the headline is 100% correct, or something else fishy is going on.

Re:Did the jurors talk to Bill Buxton? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170329)

That Bill Buxton bogged us down [slashdot.org] . You want to get out of here in time to catch the start of the Football preseason too, right? Look at all those words! And look, here, look at these instructions, MORE WORDS. It hurts!

Why you make us think so hard? This guy has a patent. The patent makes him know all this stuff. Jeez, guys, no wonder they made him head jury guy. Now sign the papers before I start to yell!

Re:Did the jurors talk to Bill Buxton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170645)

Wait a moment, you were there too?

Re:Did the jurors talk to Bill Buxton? (0)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year ago | (#41170351)

Pinch to zoom wasn't one of the patents in the trial.

Re:Did the jurors talk to Bill Buxton? (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#41170447)

The first time I personally used pinch to zoom was on a Microsoft Surface about a month before the iPhone released. At the very least it must have been on people's minds at the time.

Re:Did the jurors talk to Bill Buxton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170513)

Obvious patents aren't obvious if you limit the patent to something new, even if you had no hand in creating it -- e.g., "on the internet", "on a mobile device", "via WiFi", "on a touchscreen computing device." The best thing is you don't even have to have a working model, so as soon as someone else comes up with a new packaging for computers or a different communications protocol, file away and make the big bucks. Yay for American innovation!

A-HA! Moments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170255)

I remember when I could have 6 or 7 A-HA! moments in one night.

Re:A-HA! Moments (1)

tekrat (242117) | about a year ago | (#41170463)

"I remember when I could have 6 or 7 A-HA! moments in one night."
---
That was back in the days when MTV ran "Take On Me" music video in regular rotation.

Interchangeable? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170283)

The software on the Apple side could not be placed into the processor on the prior art and vice versa. That means they are not interchangeable. That changed everything right there.

That just doesn't make any sense. If the fact that the given prior art is not interchangeable disqualifies it to make Apple's patent obvious, then the fact that Samsung's code is just as not interchangeable should disqualify it too from infringing. Or this is bullshit but then that means Apple's patent is obvious. No matter which is true, I don't see how it can go one way for prior art and the other way for Samsung's code.

Can a gesture even be patented? (3, Funny)

thebrieze (1102809) | about a year ago | (#41170285)

If a gesture to produce a result can be patented "Pinch to Zoom", maybe I should then patent the following.
* Swallow pill to cure: Every orally delivered medicine, past and future now owes me big time
* Push button to Switch on: Every device in existence will now have to invent a new gesture to switch itself on.
* Click button to Submit: Most websites and applications..
* Pull handle to open: All doors.

This isn't about prior art, it is about what is patentable: The implementation (invention) or the gesture to interact with the implementation.

jury system a poor match for something so complex (2, Insightful)

brucek2 (208676) | about a year ago | (#41170291)

What I've seen & heard is that most juries and jury members take their role seriously, are diligent, want to do it right, and do so to the best of their ability.

And in a lot of more common cases -- especially the more basic ones like those from centuries ago when this system was just getting started -- they do fine. Their ability to judge who's lying, who's not, etc. is as good as anyone else's. Its all human nature.

But when that system got expanded to very intricate cases of highly technical laws and subject matter, the fundamental premise of the system was stretched past its breaking point. I've seen some of the closing instructions for cases like this. Even as a person with a top notch graduate degree, and directly relevant experience, and the luxury of seeing the instructions in print, and being able to review them at my leisure at the computer while looking up any more confusing terms, it can still be very difficult to follow.

The chance of a random juror, whose training and experience is in other areas, and has to hear many instructions primarily verbally, and at great length in one sitting, and without any modern technologies for making it better, actually fully understanding the material, is essentially zero. And that's no knock on the juror.

The article could well be right that jurors misunderstood. In fact most of the time, they almost certainly do. Its a problem with the system and not with the individual.

Re:jury system a poor match for something so compl (4, Interesting)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about a year ago | (#41170451)

I had jury duty this year, and I can say from that one experience, that jury's definitely want to do what is right... but they will often fail miserably, and will almost always follow those they feel have more knowledge on the subject at hand. What I saw was a couple very angry people who let their anger cloud their judgement and made them very stubborn and hard to deal with. One seemingly intelligent person who did a lot of steering when it came to the majority of the group, because they saw him as their leader and what he said, no matter what it was, was good enough for them. A couple undecided people who were actually open to listening to both sides, and myself, who had to argue my points again and again to get people to come to their senses. It was a nightmare... and that was a much more simple case than this one. We deliberated for six hours on six points, three of which were clear cut. I can't imagine sitting on a jury for a case of this magnitude and coming to a decision in less than a work week.

you have to think in russian to fly it (-1, Offtopic)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#41170305)

you have to think in russian to fly it

This Works Both Ways (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170321)

Doesn't this prior art argument apply to Samsung's device as well? If the iPhone processor isn't the same as Samsung uses, then Apple's software doesn't run that processor and no patent was violated.

Basic misunderstanding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170477)

Sounds worse than that. Does anyone know how he could have possibly have thought running on the same processor has anything to do with this at all? Right now he sounds delusional, not confused. What's his source?

Also I really like to know if he said that to the rest of the jury. If they're not utter idiots they would have realized the lawyers would have covered such a simple, basic point if it existed.

Has a patent and yet does not understand prior art (1)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year ago | (#41170525)

I do not know how this could even be possible given that the foreman has a patent of his own. Surely he had to deal with the possibility of prior art (or at least be made of aware of that that is) when he applied for his own patent.

Having read a lot of discussion regarding the qualifications of the jury, I thought they looked good -- on paper. However, when you account for the fact that most of them are fairly old, I cannot help but hold reservations on whether they are still "up-to-date" with today's technology, laws, etc. To me, this jury is highly unqualified for this case.

Jury misconduct (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#41170529)

Mistrial.

Whatever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170553)

Oh, here come the self-proclaimed legal experts on slashdot *sigh*.

Samsung rolled the dice and lost. Rather than blame the jury, maybe Samsung should spend more time looking at its own stupid tactics.

There is no fucking prior art (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41170567)

Fuckle Assdroid in of itself is a blatant copy of iOS and the devices are generally blatant copies of the iPhone or iPad. Apple should continue to sue all Assdroid makers into the fucking ground and then sue Microshit next. GOODBYE MICROSHIT AND FUCKLE!!!!!!!!!!!

Speed the Plow (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#41170617)

In gigantic lawsuits involving the deepest of pockets, there should be an alternative 'fast track' available. Both parties (corporations, natch) pony up 25 million dollars (non-refundable, win or loose) and the initial trial is heard by the Supreme Court instead. With this much money and ego on the line, these suits always end up with the Supremes anyway, so why not pay a voluntary tax and shave of years of pointless, plodding (but billable) years, so we can all get on with progress - which ususally goes to the highest bidder anyway.

Prior art misunderstandings (2, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#41170677)

Of course prior art was misunderstood. It usually is, including the misunderstanding that Groklaw is propagating. For the purposes of dismissing a patent, prior art does not just have to be something similar, but must be something that is, in whole or in part, exactly the same as what's claimed in the patent. If the patent claims a specific processor function that the prior art didn't have, it's not prior art!

Software is algorithms, and algorithms are mathematics. That's why they should never be allowed to be patented in the first place, which would have avoided all this Apple v. Samsung trial about bounceback anyway.

The algorithms are not patentable, but their assembly into a system is, just like a screw conveyor is not patentable, but its use in a new material feeder is.

Rule 50 (5, Interesting)

reimero (194707) | about a year ago | (#41170713)

This case is a prime candidate for a successful Rule 50 motion, which states essentially that in a jury trial, if a court finds that a jury would not have sufficient evidentiary basis to rule as it did, the judge may overrule the jury's decision or, alternately, vacate the jury's verdict and order a new trial. The judge can't use it to impose his or her own opinion; it has to be a fairly clear-cut case in which the jury acted unreasonably or contrary to law. So, for instance, if a jury finds a criminal defendant not guilty and the judge thinks there was enough evidence to convict, that's too bad. In the Apple-Samsung case, though, there was a clear and articulated misapplication of the prior art standard, which causes the verdict to fail as a matter of law.

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