SAN FRANCISCO – The jurors who will decide the outcome of the intellectual-property trial between Apple and Samsung Electronics must answer more than 600 questions simply to get to the end of their verdict form.
The trial over smartphone and tablet patents, which concluded Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, Calif., produced dozens of exhibits, 50 hours of argument and testimony over three weeks, and a multitude of calculations to arrive at estimated potential damages of billions of dollars.
That was before U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh started reading 109 pages of jury instructions to guide the nine-member jury through the 20-page verdict form. The exercise took more than two hours, including court-ordered stand up breaks to make sure everyone stayed alert.
The verdict form is a whopper, Stanford Law School professor Mark Lemley said. Asking jurors to parse three different sets of legal rules for the claims at issue – utility patents, design patents and trade dress, or how a product looks – will be particularly hard.
Federal rules require that for either side to win, the jury verdict must be unanimous.
Apple sued Samsung in April 2011, and South Korea-based Samsung countersued. The case is the first to go before a federal jury in a battle being waged on four continents for dominance in a smartphone market valued by Bloomberg Industries at $219.1 billion.
The trial, which began July 30, wrapped up Tuesday with two hours of closing arguments by each side.