Apple v. Samsung: Juror says both sides' lawyers were persuasive
The Apple v. Samsung patent dispute not only pitted two of the top consumer electronics companies against each other, but the case was also a showdown between some of the country's best patent litigators.
Leading the charge for Apple was Harold McElhinny of the law firm Morrison Foerster. Samsung's courtroom gladiator was Charles Verhoeven, a lawyer with the firm Quinn Emanuel.
Samsung's attorneys got their noses bloodied on Friday when a nine-person jury returned a verdict that Samsung had infringed on most of Apple's patent claims and found that Apple did not infringe on any of Samsung's. Apple filed a suit last year accusing Samsung of infringing some of the design and technology patents involved with the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countered sued and the jury was tasked with deciding both companies' claims.
If Samsung suffered a bruising defeat -- one that the company is very likely to appeal -- it should blame its attorneys, says Manuel Ilagan, one of the jurors. In an exclusive interview with CNET yesterday, Ilagan said he found the attorneys representing both sides to be very persuasive.
"[The jury] didn't talk about the lawyers," Ilagan said, "but my impression was that [Apple's No. 2 attorney] Bill Lee and McElhinny were pretty good in their presentation and questioning of the witnesses. And on the other side there was Verhoeven and [Samsung No. 2 attorney Bill] Price was in my opinion also very good. Price had a sense of humor. He was having back and forth with some of the witnesses."
But the paid experts that testified for both sides apparently didn't do much to persuade the jurors one way or the other. Apple and Samsung both paid experts to testify on their behalf to support their claims or to dispute the opponent's experts.
In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Velvin Hogan, the jury's foreman told the paper: "You can pay people to say what you want them to say."
Hogan and Ilagan both said that in the end Apple just presented more convincing evidence.
Ilagan said that he believed the Samsung executives whose testimony was videotaped and shown to the jury, attempted to dodge questions. He also said many of the Samsung witnesses were saying much the same thing and that meant Samsung "didn't have any more arguments to present."
Hogan told the Mercury News: "It became clear Samsung in some cases chose to ignore when it knew or should have known what they were doing in their products was infringing on Apple's intellectual property rights."
As for U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, Ilagan had only praise. He said she didn't waste time and was fair. Ilagan says that while the jury did not rush to reach a verdict, he did acknowledge that sitting in a courtroom for three weeks listening to arguments wasn't easy.
Ilagan said laughing: "It was grueling."