Apple, Samsung kick off case by sparring over instructional video
U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh on Sunday overruled Samsung Electronics’ objections to showing jurors a recent instructional video on how patents work, ahead of a trial in a patent dispute between Apple and Samsung.
The South Korean company claimed that the video suggested at a minimum that Apple’s products are patentable and innovative. The new video, called “The Patent Process: An Overview for Jurors,” was developed by the Federal Judicial Center to provide jurors with an introduction to the patent system, and was posted to YouTube in November last year.
Samsung on Friday objected to the FJC video which it said includes several scenes in which Apple products are depicted and used. It recommended that the jurors be shown an earlier video that was also shown to the jury in another patent dispute between Apple and Samsung in the court, and does not feature products and brands at issue in the trial.
A note from the FJC to the November 2013 video states that individual judges will want to review it and consult with counsel before deciding whether to use it in a particular case, Samsung said in its filing.
Apple products used for illustrative purposes
At the 2:55 mark on the new video, for example, a series of Apple products are shown, including an iPad, a newer model of a laptop computer, and an iPhone, Samsung said. “The narration during this portion of the video addresses how the disclosure of a patent may ‘inspire new inventions,’” Samsung’s counsel wrote in a filing to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division.
“At the 4:35 mark, the requirements that a patent be new, useful and non-obvious are shown on the screen in front of a still image of an Apple computer,” the counsels wrote in the filing.
“At a minimum, the video strongly suggests that Apple’s products are innovative and patentable,” Samsung’s attorneys wrote. Showing the jury such a video would be prejudicial to Samsung and threaten the impartiality of the jury, according to the filing.
In her order on Sunday, Judge Koh wrote that the parties shall bring the November 2013 version of the video, and shall include a handout referenced in the video in the jury binders.
In the lawsuit, Apple claims that Samsung infringed five of its patents in 10 models of phones and tablets, while Samsung has counterclaimed that Apple has infringed on two of its patents in nine phones and tablets.
The case covers some of both companies’ better known and recent smartphone and tablet models such as the Galaxy S III and the fourth-generation iPad. On Monday, the two parties are expected to start with jury selection.