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Apple vs Samsung Jury Foreman Speaks Out (Again) – Proves His Ignorance In Dealing With Patent Law

Today, the now famous jury foreman in the Apple vs Samsung patent trial sat down for an online interview with the readers of Gizmodo. They asked Velvin Hogan their most pressing questions involved in the case and like most anyone familiar with the tech industry — the questions got real good. Here’s some of the better ones as highlighted by Groklaw:

Demon-Xanth: Did you have the opportunity to ask “Is this something that should be patentable?” during the trial?

Velvin Hogan: @Demon-Xanth – No, however it was not the function of this jury to ask that. We were bound to use the law as it is today. The patents were issued the judge instructed us not to second guess the current patent system.

Apparently, it was expected of the jury to ask, “Is this patent even valid?” before coming to a decision of supposed infringement. If the patent isn’t even valid, then it can’t be infringed upon. Looks like the jury foreman was, once again, clueless.

When it came to whether or not he believed a company should be allowed to patent basic geometric shapes (a rounded rectangle for instance) he answers yes, only to later get pounded by another reader for wrongly answering that prior art didn’t exist because it wasn’t “interchangeable”:

Wanhang: Why did you choose to ignore prior art despite it being a legitimate claim?

Velvin Hogan: @Wanhang – I is not ignore prior art yes it was legitimate, however it was not interchangeable therefore it did not invalidate Apples patents….Under the current law the prior art must be among other things interchangeable. the prior art sighted even Samsung does not currently use. Read the law and the statues covering Prior art.

Firewheels: @Velvin Hogan – You’re suggesting, then, that the patent is on the particular implementation, not the overall concept? In that case, isn’t it clear that in many of the patents no infringement is possible, as clearly an implementation in Java (Android) is distinct from an implementation in Objective-C (iOS)?

If, however, you’re suggesting the patent is on the concept, then clearly there IS prior art, and therefore the patents are invalid. Either way, Samsung should not have been charged the exorbitant punitive damages you clearly believed were due.

Although I’m not a legal professor or analyst, I’m not sure how much if this dialog — if anything at all — can be used as any sort of evidence for Samsung’s appeal. But there you have it, folks. The words of a man who managed to convince fellow jurors of Samsung’s wrong doing, costing a company a billion dollars and some change, while single-handedly paving the way for more lawsuits to come.




  • peanutsrevenge

    So, the ill informed, biased jury is being shown, through additional evidence to at least be ill informed?
    This is why I don’t like to lie, always get found out eventually.

    • ari_free

      That’s what Apple depends on to win

  • http://chazclout.com/ Charles Clout

    Rida: what do you think about the galaxy nexus?
    Velvin Hogan: I do not use tablets.

    WAT?

    • NIGHTSCOUT

      Ya when i read that, i was surprised. This guy claims to be in the field, but knows nothing about it??

  • soondolee

    wow…just wow…tupid….
    and how much is he earning by doing the interview??

    • peanutsrevenge

      Apparently nothing (so he says).

      • z0phi3l

        Gawker (parent company of Gizmodo) is known to pay for stolen goods, why not pay an Apple shill?

    • DavidVarghese

      *stupid

  • dyl

    > the judge instructed us not to second guess the current patent system.
    Why and when did(*) the Judge say this? Will the next patent lawsuit focus on allowing it to be second guessed?

    (*) have not followed the case closely, is there a transcript to read?

    • AGx

      This is the problem, the Patent System NEEDS TO BE SECOND GUESSED! By the time we figure out what’s wrong with our society it will have crumbled and we’ll all be Captain Hindsight’s.

      • Matt Poulsen

        it is second guessed all the freaking time. But that isn’t the question at hand. Apple’s patent can be challenged for validity, but that is not the same question as infringement analysis.

    • Joshyz73

      I think that involves the automatic assumption of validity. Techdirt did a nice write-up about it a few weeks ago:
      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120816/01045920068/why-do-we-assume-patents-are-valid-when-patent-offices-own-numbers-show-they-get-things-wrong-all-time.shtml

    • http://profiles.google.com/gremlyn1 Colin Burton

      Is the judge even allowed to instruct the jury this way? I know they are not required to inform the jury of their ability to nullify the law in a specific case (in the vast majority of states at least), but it strikes me as odd and a little devious if the judge actually told them not to consider nullification.

  • PhiINelwyn

    Actually, the first answer is right.
    “Is this something that should be patentable” puts the patent system at issue, he should have been asked “is this something that should have been patented.”

  • root4life

    Effing hilarious

  • http://profiles.google.com/kdsandeep Sandeep Deshpande

    He should talk more, it will help android and Samsung

  • Stefan

    Hogan says prior doesn’t matter because its not interchangeable to work on apple software. does that mean if apple’s coding doesn’t work on Samsung devices it can’t infringe?

  • BuzzLightyear

    Did anyone ask if he had an iPhone or an Android phone… Or maybe the answer would be too obvious?

    • Micah Madru

      No one had an iPhone that was on the jury. Also no one owned a samsung smartphone. I believe there were 2 people that had smartphones. One jury member didn’t even own a mobile phone.

      • Crunch

        how is it possible in this day and age that someone that does not own a mobile phone gets to sit in a jury?!!??!?! what kind of person does not own a mobile phone?!!?!

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      “Rida: what do you think about the galaxy nexus?
      Velvin Hogan: I do not use tablets.”

      Sorry, he doesn’t use a tablet, so probably doesn’t have an iPhone. iPad maybe.. :P

    • peanutsrevenge

      Try reading the questions and answers to find the answers to your own questions.

    • codkill

      He said that he used an Android device, but didn’t state which in particular.

      • YamiYaiba

        I recall he actually said he owned a Droid 3 and remarked that because of the keyboard, it’s design was safe

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

          Which would be ironic, seeing as how the Epic is on the kill list…

          • Robert Jakiel

            LOL! I thought the same thing. The guy is a moron and because of him and his failure along with the jury’s failure to recognize his incompetence this will get torn apart in appeals.

          • aergern

            Because a lot of this was directed at the TouchWiz UI which is a blatant rip of iOS. Samsung, HTC and the rest need to give it a rest because Android 4.1.x has a great UI and we don’t need to emulate Apple .. they are about to release iOS 6 and it REALLY hasn’t changed much. Do we want to be that. Nope.

    • AGx

      I believe he said in the first interview that he doesn’t use either but his wife owns a Samsung (nothing specific, he could have been talking about a computer).

    • ari_free

      The jury was just 10 minutes away from Apple HQ so everyone would benefit economically from an Apple win.

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      In a previous interview he said he had an Android phone but that it was not made by Samsung.

  • meliorist

    This is turning into a great retirement job for the guy — way better than collecting trolleys at Walmart.

    • Maximillion82

      exactly… wonder how much Apple paid to put him into that seat. I’m sorry to say but he is not even in the smartphone vendors target demographic so why was he on thus jury. who cares if he would confuse a Galaxy Tab with an iPad? He will never buy one anyway.

  • Micah Madru

    Is it just me or does this clown not pay even the slightest attention to detail. Just look at all of his responses. Poorly written, broken English, and many of his sentences need a good 10 seconds or more to decipher what he’s trying to say.

    • peanutsrevenge

      I think there’s some dyslexia mixed in with pressure and hurried responses.
      Although it made the responses tricky to understand, I won’t hold it against him.

      I might be persuaded to hold his repeated need to answered the same or similar questions with almost identical responses and skip out the trickier, followup questions against him though (namely prior art not being interchangeable validating Apples patents but still find Samsung guilty).

      • Mobile Phones Fan

        I think there’s some dyslexia mixed in with pressure and hurried responses.

        So in other words, he’s a quasi-illiterate with acute performance anxiety? :-)

        Oh, hey — then clearly he was the ideal choice as foreman, leading 11 total n00bs as they slogged through 100-odd pages of fiendishly detailed jury instructions. And they did it in world-record time, too.

        With the stellar qualifications you’ve cited — and, as a patent-holder, a dollop of self-interest — what could possibly go wrong? Maybe now we can send this guy to D.C. to help with simple stuff…like, say, the tax code.

        • ari_free

          So in other words, he’s a quasi-illiterate with acute performance anxiety? :-)

          In other words, he’s smarter than most Apple fans.

  • http://www.tomahaiku.com/ Toma

    Anyone else notice the similarity between this idiot and Stephen Elop? https://plus.google.com/u/0/114702958121158045504/posts/hnKmiQBsnzB

  • Jameslepable

    The only juror who made headlines he is obviously just trying to get a bit of fame from this case.

  • DavidVarghese

    I swear… America needs an overhaul reformation of their patent system and their justice system as well… picking these idiots to be part of a jury should be a crime… lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    I don’t see how Samsung can lose the appeal at this point.

    • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

      I agree, but then again, right before the verdict, I said, “I don’t see how Samsung can lose the case at this point.” Sigh…

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      It’s all about what’s admissible, there was evidence that Samsung wanted to present at trial that could have made a difference (though based on this guy’s statements I doubt it) it may be possible that despite the overwhelming obvious evidence of juror misconduct that the court of appeals may not even care about it.

  • Darkseider

    LOL! What a clown! This guy is going to make the Samsung appeal so much easier!

  • luis

    These jurors never should have been picked in the first place.. smh would it have honestly been difficult to get tech savvy individuals with common sense? Honestly a group of college kids or computer instructors or programmers with a incling on the diff between an apple product and a Samsung product would have worked just fine. but no they grab a missguided fool who by the looks of it would have as much trouble running a microwave as he would a smart phone as the jury foreman.. makes me want to vomit in my mouth…

    • Str8Krazy

      You throw out the people that have Iphones then throw out the Samsung phone owners and you just lost most of the tech savvy people that couldn’t get out of Jury duty…..

      • ari_free

        And what is HTC? Chopped liver?

        • Str8Krazy

          I’m not trying to put down HTC, LG or any other Smartphone maker. Between Samsung and Apple you have about 50% of the market. Add to that the Tech people that got out of Jury Duty or at least this trial because they’d lose money. You probably lost most if not all of the tech savvy people

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      Making some HUGE assumptions here but I’m guessing that many of the people who had smartphones were obviously biased towards their smartphone platform of choice. There’s little chance that you or I or for that matter the idiot waiting in line for hours to buy the next mediocre iDevice would ever be seated on this jury.

      Still surprising that Samsung let this guy on considering that he’s pretty obviously a patent troll.

    • z0phi3l

      Apple would never let that happen, only iSheep think Apple is in the right, anyone else with half a brain knows most if not all of Apple’s patents are invalid just on prior art alone

  • jbo1018

    The judge needs to throw this verdict out. It’s blatantly obvious none of these people had the slightest clue what they were doing.

  • Rdfry

    I was worried because they missed the filing deadline for some very crucial evidence. It turned out to be a depressing day having to listen to the Apple horn tooting.

  • http://twitter.com/KnowScott Scott Stafford

    This is such a huge joke. It’s very disappointing :(. I’m sure he doesn’t realize that him, as a consumer, is the real loser in all of this.

    • luis

      if he was a consumer I’d agree with u. but aperantly there where only 2 people in the jury with smartphones he’s clearly not one of them.

  • gs6456

    The most important part out of all of this is what EyeHeartPie noted:

    I have figured out why Hogan seemed so hell bent on ignoring prior art. His own patent is basically for a DVR with removable storage, and using a normal person’s reading of prior art, his patent would be invalid, since there have been DVRs with removable storage capability for years. He likely defended his own patent using the interchangeability argument he seems to be using here, and since it’s a stupid argument that would not fly with most normal people, he pressured the jury into glossing over the entire prior art discussion during jury deliberations.

    This really brings it all into perspective.

    • bmg314

      If this is true, then I would think that is enough for an overturning of the verdict in appeals.

      • ari_free

        Yes, in a sane world that didn’t put idiots like this guy on juries.

        • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

          I don’t think he’s an idiot, far from it, I just think he’s sleazy.

          One could argue that the other jurors were a bit idiotic in allowing this guy to manipulate them but I definitely think the Samsung legal team was idiotic for allowing him to be seated on the jury in the first place.

        • David Kelly

          I think both Apple and Samsung thought this guy might have been good for their case. Samsung would have approved, because if Apple won, they might have been able to show that he had incorrectly influenced the jury. Apple liked him because he would have been likely to be on Apple’s side of the argument because he is a patent holder.

          So, while it is unfortunate that Samsung lost, having this guy on the jury can only have helped when it comes to appeals.

          In jury trials, it is never about the law, it is about jury.

    • not2guilty

      The jury foreman was obviously an Apple plant. The day the jury got the case Apple stock rallied to an all time high on very high volume. Someone knew something for sure that day, that kind of money is not bet unless it’s a sure thing. Someone should look into that.Personally, I like Samsung because they just upgraded their Austin Texas plant and added 500 employees. Samsung has a total of 13 billion invested in the Austin Texas plant. All Apple manufactures in the US is litigation to harm the consumer and protect their bloated profits.

  • Maximillion82

    Great so incompetence of the senior juror was the reason Apple won. I can however see that me might want to buy an iPad and by accident get a different tablet or a piece of plywood. Though he must be the only person in the world this confused.

  • CharlieTX

    Sounds very much like the Appeals Court will be sending this case back for re-trial as Judge Lucy botched the instructions to the jury.

  • Matt Milsap

    some jury instructions are followed, others are not? And Apple thinnks they can withhold component payments to Samsung? This is out of control.

  • Robert Jakiel

    This is a clear cut case of “You can’t fix stupid”. The jury foreman has all but come out and said, I ignored the judges instructions, did not read everything and had absolutely no clue what I was doing when I instructed the rest of the jurors”. In an appeals court this will get shredded and Apple will likely never see a penny from any of this. Samsung has everything to gain from not having to pay to having Apple’s bogus design patents invalidated on prior art.

  • Major_Pita

    Samsung should get a deposition from this guy before he forgets that he was the jury foreman.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    MISTRIAL!

  • surethom

    What an idiot the point of a Jury is to say the law is an arse if the law is a arse, some of the patients should be invalidated/

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    I have to say, this was definitely an eye opener.

  • DethBySnooSnoo

    This is priceless.

    “Although I’m not a legal professor or analyst, I’m not sure how much if this dialog — if anything at all — can be used as any sort of evidence for Samsung’s appeal.”

    however you proclaim to have said legal skills by saying

    “Looks like the jury foreman was, once again, clueless.”

    Chris, I like you man. Truly I do. But I urge you and everyone else at Phandroid to take your personal feelings out of these articles otherwise you end up with really bad logic errors like this.

    P.S.

    It’s not the jury’s duty to determine if a patent is valid. It was already determined to be valid in pre-trial. It’s their job to determine if the “patent” that Apple has on it’s art work was copied by Samsung.

    The appeals process will take this route which will right-set everything. Everything will be fine ladies. Just calm down.

    • Luxferro

      How so, when the form they had to fill out asked them if a patent was valid?

      It was made an issue in the media on why these questions were at the end rather then the beginning – which is the more logical way.

    • Matt Poulsen

      Thank you for some reasonability. People simply don’t understand the patent process or the legal process and it shows mightily in this article.

  • fredphoesh

    Insane, what a complete and utter balls-up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.huddleston Greg Huddleston

    (Well he did get others to agree so I wouldn’t call it ‘single handed…’) Other than that I wonder if he ‘mysteriously’ wins a free house in a contest and it happens to be in the Cupertino area… Just sayin.

  • stalked

    Why don’t you all ask “anonymous ” to help samsung. Anynomous is a criminal psychotic hacker from SF. Some creepy stalker

  • Matt Poulsen

    The only thing clear here is the author’s ignorance of the law (especially jury instructions) and patent law in general. The author’s muddling of “concept” versus “implementation” is purely absurd. The type of code used isn’t generally relevant in patent law. That has been standard law for some time now. It is about the functionality. The author complete invents the idea of “concept.” Moreover, the juror is correct regarding patentability. His job was to determine whether Samsung infringed Apple’s patents, NOT whether Apple deserved a patent to begin with. Apple met the standards under section 112, 102, and 103 of the US Patent Statutes. That is something that can be challenged but that isn’t the question at hand.

    This article is nothing more than the author’s general complaint about the patent system and he somehow blames the juror for it. It is completely unfair and is written by someone who has almost no understand of the U.S. Patent System or the legal system in general.

    • aiden9

      His job was to determine whether Apple’s patents were valid. It was on the form they were asked to fill out. Samsung even spent a good portion of their defense trying to prove the patent was invalid(prior art, functionality, etc).

  • ludist210

    I just have to say, the Will Farrell Harry Caray thumb on the front page is the best image to grace this website. Ever.

  • Luke Mildenhall-Ward

    Chris Chavez— “Is this something that should be patentable” is not the same as “is this patent valid”. You’ve misunderstood them as being the same where the legal distinction is that theyre quite separate. You’ve inferred a few other incorrect statements in your article too. It’s dangerous to report on law if you don’t understand what you’re writing.

  • Johnathan Concepcion

    The Steve Bartman of the tech world

  • alainrj

    These idiots do not understand how ridiculous these patent lawsuits are. We all lose with these smartphone lawsuits – http://goo.gl/Zn7ZE

  • flyingdutchie

    If this is indeed the case, then Samsung’s *lawyers* should have been addressing these issues so that he and the other jurors would have made a different decision. Did the lawyers drop the ball?

  • Drew M

    On a lighter note, did anyone catch the image for the article on the homepage? It’s an old SNL skit of Will Ferrell as Harry Caray…and it’s hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z-OKSaimDA

  • socalrailroader

    ” I is not ignore prior art”

    I is a High School Graduate? :D LOL

  • Ike H

    To me the most troubling part is the double standard used by the juror.
    He claims that they are not to determine if a patent/patent claim is valid or not and yet he convinces the other jurors that Samsung’s patent claims are invalid because they have been “exhausted” and so Apple has not infringed.
    Using his logic Apple should have been judged infringing Samsung’s patents.

  • afazel

    I wonder if an investigation is due to find whether or not there is a “relationship” between this man and Apple.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dcorzine Deven Corzine

    The jury was INSTRUCTED to consider the validity of the patents. See the 6th paragraph on page 29 of the jury instructions:

    “For each party’s patent infringement claims against the other, the first issue you will have to decide is whether the alleged infringer has infringed the claims of the patent holder’s patents and whether those patents are valid.”

    Source: http://www.groklaw.net/pdf3/ApplevSamsung-1903.pdf