Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. lawyers have pretty much finished their respective cases in the landmark patent-infringement lawsuit. Now it comes down to getting the jury prepared for what it is about to face. The lawyers for both sides are expected to give closing arguments in the case Tuesday, but a large part of the day Monday was spent hashing out a 21-page, 700-question verdict form which the jury will have to complete upon finishing deliberations.
Why such specificity? Because this isn’t a standard, run-of-the-mill, single-patent lawsuit. This is a battle over several technological patents covering about 25 devices from both companies, plus each side sued the other for infringement – so they each not only had to make their cases about their own patents, but also prove that the other side did the infringing. For Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung, that is multi-tasking. And for the jury, the judge thinks this will be daunting.
Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the events in the trial, has been looking over and deliberating with Appple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung attorneys over the details of their differing versions of the verdict form that each side presented for consideration. The attorneys and Judge Koh debated the fine details of each form, and the judge will have the final say as to the final version of the form that jurors will see. The length and number of questions may not differ much from the versions that were considered.
All of this even left Judge Koh’s head spinning. She said, “I am worried we might have a seriously confused jury here. I have trouble understanding this, and I have spent a little more time with this than they have. … It’s so complex, and there are so many pieces here.”
The pieces essentially amount to what is at stake here – Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is claiming that Samsung violated three utility ad four design patents in about 20 of its devices, while Samsung has a counterclaim that Apple infringed on five of its utility patents across four devices – versions of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Also at stake is likely the hardest part – determining damages. Both sides placed experts on the stand who testified to patent-infringement harms ranging from millions to billions of dollars, and it will be up to the jury to decide which numbers to rely upon for a proper assessment of damaged against the harmed party. The apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) expert claimed damages were upward of $2.5 billion, while Samsung’s expert considered the harm to be more around $520 million. And the damages will be important because if Judge Koh finds one side was willful or malicious in its infringement, damages could be doubled or tripled.
While the jury is expected to get the case in the middle of the week, it’s very possible that deliberations will take a while simply because of all the moving parts- and all of the questions on the verdict form that will have to be answered by the facts in the trial.