California, Federal Judges, Intellectual Property, Judicial Divas, Litigators, Patents, Silicon Valley, Technology, Trials

Apple Rests Its Case, Samsung Claims Small Victory, and Judge Koh Continues Awesomely Busting Heads

As the Apple v. Samsung trial continues speeding along at the speed of, well, a first generation iPhone with low battery, we finally had some real developments in court yesterday, breaking up the recent monotony of expert witnesses and attorney v. attorney quibbling.

Apple rested its case, and Samsung managed to score a minor victory by getting a few of its phones dropped from the case. Seeing as there are more than a dozen phones at issue, it’s definitely a minor victory, but it’s better than nothing — especially since Samsung’s Quinn Emmanuel lawyers haven’t exactly been the popular kids in court so far…

Joe Mullin at Ars Technica provides a nice summary of what happened in court yesterday:

It was a minor victory for Samsung. The Galaxy Ace, Galaxy S i9000, and Galaxy S II i9100 were thrown out of the case by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh after questions about whether the phones were even sold in the US. The devices were dropped from the case because they are “world phones that could be purchased in the US., but that weren’t sold by Samsung’s telecommunications and electronics divisions in the US,” according to CNET.

All Things D points out, however, that the ruling does not affect the US-specific versions of Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy SII phones, which are among roughly 20 devices Apple has identified as infringing its intellectual property. Moreover, the three phones were essentially worthless in Apple’s case from a financial perspective. Apple’s damages report assigned the three phones a worth of $0, the only phones in the case with such a distinction.

So, yeah, it’s not a game changer, but in this trench warfare case, every inch feels like a mile. According to Ars, Samsung also tried unsuccessfully to shut the whole thing down by asking for judgment as a matter of law “that Apple hasn’t proven its case, and that no reasonable jury could possibly side with Apple.” Obviously, Judge Koh didn’t go for that. So starting yesterday, Samsung has begun presenting its own slew of (almost certainly highly paid) expert witnesses.

After Samsung attorney/Fox commentator Susan Estrich’s bar admission goof last week, a tipster had this to say about Judge Koh:

She is pretty pissed. I think the Samsung lawyers are on especially thin ice. I don’t think she will throw the case Apple’s way because of this kind of crap. But Samsung does appear to be losing a lot of motions. Simply put, Quinn has lost Judge Koh.

It seems like our tipster was correct. As much as the judge has been frustrated by attorneys on both sides, for whatever endless reasons, she doesn’t appear to be letting it affect her objectivity about the case. She’s an equal opportunity whip-cracker. (Perhaps unlike this embattled judge, for example.)

The trial is in session every day this week, and as usual, the Mercury News is live blogging the whole thing. (If I’m lucky, I’ll be back in court at least once or twice more myself.)

As of this writing, things have already kicked off today with a bang. One of Samsung’s expert witnesses was temporarily prohibited from testifying, because Intel said the expert was inappropriately given access to its source code. From All Things D (kudos to this blog’s speediness, by the way):

On Tuesday, the issue at hand was whether a Samsung-hired expert, Tim Williams, was given access to Intel source code without fully disclosing his potential conflicts of interest.

Lawyers for Intel brought up the issue on Tuesday saying that they had just learned that Williams had been given access to the code earlier this year. Under a court order, parties such as Intel are supposed to be given notice when their confidential information is shared.

Intel asked that Williams be precluded from testifying, something that Judge Lucy Koh would be an extreme remedy at this point. However, Koh decided that she needed more details, declaring that Williams would not testify as scheduled on Tuesday and ordering both sides to produce the relevant documents and their legal arguments.

Bring out those impartial razor fangs, Judge!

“I want to see papers, I don’t trust what any lawyer tells me in this courtroom.”

The Mercury News blogged that during the exchange, the case turned into “Intel and Apple v. Samsung.” Woo! Buckle your seatbelts everybody. Looks like today is going to be bumpy…

Fireworks in Apple-Samsung Over Whether Expert Had Improper Access to Intel Source Code [All Things D]
Apple rests patent case as judge tosses three Samsung phones from trial [Ars Technica]
Judge tosses trio of Samsung phones from Apple case [CNET]
Apple rests its patent case against Samsung [Mercury News]

Earlier: What’s Really at Stake In Apple v. Samsung
Above the Law Goes to Trial — Dispatch from Apple v. Samsung
The Apple v. Samsung Trial Continues, And John Quinn Keeps Taking Shots
John Quinn Defends His Personal Honor As Apple v. Samsung Trial Gets Crazier

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