Apple Inc. (AAPL) Moves Fast; Did Jury Screw Up?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) wanted to move before the ink on the jury verdict form was dry, and certainly before too much Monday Morning Quarterbacking could take place on Friday afternoon’s surprisingly quick decision on the complex patent trial vs. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. While Apple was filing motions to ban sales of eight Samsung devices in the United States – those that were found to have infringed on Apple patents by the jury – some legal experts and other analysts are homing in on the verdict for, the jury’s handling of it and saying that Samsung can make a strong case for an appeal to be upheld. Certainly there is little surprise that an appeal was going to happen in this case, regardless of the winner.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Monday in a federal district court, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction on the sales of seven Samsung Galaxy devices – including the S2 for AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and the S2 sold by T-Mobile USA – plus the Droid Charge. All of the devices were found by the jury to have infringed on several patents claimed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAP). The company is seeking the preliminary injunction while it pursues a permanent injunction based on the decision by the jury. But will the jury decision hold up in an appeal? There are some questions about that, not that trial-watchers have had the chance to dissect the jury verdict form and the process the jury took to get to its decision to award Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) $1.05 billion.

The big issue involving the possibility of a Samsung appeal – and a strong case for it, at that – comes from how the verdict form was filled out. There are claims that the jury seemed to be in a hurry to go through the nearly 700-question form, and a large number of inconsistencies, which Judge Lucy Koh had to direct the jury to correct before the final reading of the decision. There were reports that the jury had originally awarded Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) damages for infringement, though it never stated on the form that the infringement took place – or there were awards given for “inducement” when there was no inducement of a patent infringement, because the infringement didn’t exist. Plus, there was this from the jury foreman – “The foreman told a court representative that the jurors had reached a decision without needing the instructions.”

Many legal experts seem to think the speed of the jury coming to a decision and the inconsistencies on the verdict form may be a basis not just for an appeal, but to have the appeal upheld. But surely no one expected this decision Friday to be the end of the saga – and it seems that the results are just the first chapter for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung in this latest legal tussle.