On Friday afternoon, after just under three days of deliberation, the Apple v. Samsung jury came back with a tidy little verdict awarding just over $1 billion to Apple. Meanwhile, Samsung got nothing on its counterclaims.
It was a big win for Apple, and it came surprisingly quickly. As Elie pointed out, it would take many smart people more than three days to even understand all the the terms within the 109 pages of jury instructions. Aside from the jury itself, it seemed no one was ready for the verdict. One attorney for Apple even showed up in a polo shirt.
Let’s have a post-mortem run through of the case (and a quick-and-dirty look at the massive attorneys’ fees incurred by both sides)….
If you haven’t been following along, Apple v. Samsung has been an exciting case to watch, not only because of the complicated, important legal issues involved in the fight over smartphone and tablet design patents, but because of the Hollywood-style drama happening in court from the start. Several weeks ago, John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel, counsel to Samsung, was reduced to begging Judge Lucy Koh to accept one of his requests.
The sparring between counsel on both sides was so severe that Judge Koh did a little begging of her own, repeatedly asking both companies to settle. And toward the end of the trial, Judge Koh asked WilmerHale partner Bill Lee if he was smoking crack. During closing arguments, Charles Verhoeven argued that the verdict would change the world. As far as complex intellectual property trials go, this was a pretty exciting one.
Members of the jury, who had been barred from reading any of the copious ink spilled over the case, have finally spoken out about their decision process:
The foreman, Velvin Hogan, a 67-year-old electrical engineer, told the San Jose Mercury News on Saturday that the panel was methodical. “We didn’t whiz through this,” said Hogan, who relied on his own experience patenting inventions. “We took it very seriously.”
Hogan, who does not own Apple products, said the first task was to determine if Apple’s patents were valid. Using his own experience getting a patent, Hogan said he had a revelation on first night of deliberations while watching television. “I was thinking about the patents, and thought, ‘If this were my patent, could I defend it?’” Hogan recalled. “Once I answered that question as yes, it changed how I looked at things.
The jury did not completely grant Apple’s demand for at least $2.5 billion, Hogan said, but they “wanted to send a message to the industry at large that patent infringing is not the right thing to do, not just Samsung.”
“We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist,” Hogan said. “We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable.”
That’s a nice sentiment, Dr. Evil. We know these are massive corporations here. But does chopping the damages from more than $2 billion (Apple’s request) to $1 billion (the jury’s award) make a difference as far as “reasonableness”? I mean, those nine zeros are still an eyeful.
Either way, the appeals wheel is already up and spinning, unsurprisingly. When a jury — consisting of, among others, a 24-year-old with a propensity towards rocking Beatles and Doors t-shirts in court — awards a ten-figure verdict so fast that the lead attorneys can barely make it to court on time, someone’s not going home happy. Especially when the trial was so full of objections and attorney squabbling, not to mention technical details so dry that the court took periodic “stand up, stretch, and don’t fall asleep” breaks.
It took about four seconds for Samsung to announce it would file post-verdict motions to overturn the district court verdict, followed by appeals if necessary.
ATL readers will be glad to hear that at least the attorneys in the case — at Quinn Emanuel, WilmerHale, and Morrison & Foerster — won’t be going home empty-handed. The WSJ Law Blog explains:
Court documents show that some Morrison Foerster partners and of counsel billed a median rate of $582 an hour for work on portions of the case, while some Quinn Emanuel partners billed on average $821 per hour. Spokeswomen for both law firms did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
As we’ve noted before, the courtroom was jammed with attorneys throughout the trial. Some were forced to sit in the gallery with the spectators. The WSJ also mentions that each side spent about $4 million on an extensive list of expert witnesses.
A source told the WSJ that Samsung and Apple probably each spent “$10 to $20 million on the case.” You know, just a little chump change. (Certainly for Apple, which has cash on hand in the tens of billions.)
It’s safe to say, even though the verdict is in (and maybe Judge Koh will even be able to go home on time for a few days), those fees will keep going up (along with some fall recruitment numbers at the firms). And we imagine the circus will remain in town for quite a while….
Check, Please: Experts Say Apple, Samsung Face Sky-High Legal Fees [WSJ Law Blog]
Jury didn’t want to let Samsung off easy in Apple trial: foreman [Reuters]
Apple jurors grappled with complex patent issues [Associated Press]
Earlier: The Apple Samsung Verdict Is In
Dispatch from Apple v. Samsung Closing Statements: The World is Watching
Benchslap of the Day: Are You On Crack?
Apple Rests Its Case, Samsung Claims Small Victory, and Judge Koh Continues Awesomely Busting Heads
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