Apple v. Samsung jury foreman discusses verdict

Vel Hogan, the jury foreman in Apple v. Samsung

The foreman in the Apple v. Samsung lawsuit, Vel Hogan, has given his first television interview in order to discuss the jury's verdict. Hogan, who provided the jury with guidance as he is a patent holder himself, said that despite the jury's quick verdict, there was a moment during the trial where it appeared Samsung was going to win the case.

"If you'd have asked me at that moment in time, I thought it was ultimately going to maybe lean the other way," Hogan said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. "Why? We were at a stalemate, but some of the jurors weren't sure of the patent prosecution process. Some weren't sure how prior art could either render a patent acceptable or whether it could invalidate it. And so what we did is we started talking about [something], and when the day was over and I was at home I started thinking about that patent, claim-by-claim, limit-by-limit. I had what we would call an 'ah-ha!' moment, and I suddenly decided I could defend this if it was my patent."

While Hogan said some of the jurors were bored with the proceedings at times, they all knew the importance of the lawsuit and were determined to let the evidence presented in the case determine the eventual outcome.

Hogan went on to say the jury was given a clear set of instructions by the judge; the form the jury was given listed all the potentially infringing Samsung devices as well as the respective patents the devices were claimed to be infringing upon. With that form in hand, the jury was able to easily decide whether devices were infringing upon Apple's patents.

"The thing that needs to be understood – there was emotion – but if you set that aside, the form that we were given [by the judge] ... had broken [down] every accused device [into groups and what patents each may infringe on]," the jury foreman said. "Some violated one, some violated two, some violated three. And so we had to take the accused devices for each one and compare them to the declaration of the patent and claim and limitation."

The jury went on to award Apple $1.051 billion (a figure that was later lowered to $1.049 billion after the judge ruled the jury had awarded damages for a product that was deemed to have not infringed on Apple's patents), although there was debate among the jurors. Hogan confirmed reports that a 20-year-old juror was responsible for much of that debate.

"Actually, he did. What it amounted to was he thought very logically – and I'm glad – he was never willing, at first, to take anyone's viewpoint until he had thought it out," Hogan said. "That was a good thing; that would create discussion. We would either convince all of ourselves and be unanimous on the point or we would move on, and then eventually we would come back. And we learned enough going forward that when we came back it made the process a lot easier."

Regarding the actual monetary amount awarded to Apple, Hogan said the jury had individuals with professional financial experience and came up with a method of determining the amount Apple would receive. 

"In the evidence, Apple had declared that Samsung had cost them in profits 35 percent of their revenue," he said. "On the other hand, Samsung said that it is because they took out operating costs and the value is 12 percent. Three of us had been through the process in our careers of dealing with financial documents. ... We determined that in our experience, the percentage was not 12 percent, and it certainly was not 35 percent; it should be closer between 13 to 15 percent. We zeroed in on 14 percent – that became the magic number. Then we did our own calculations for each of the areas, adding those up with royalties that were entitled for some of the items. And we cut that value in half."

Source: Bloomberg TV | Screen capture via Bloomberg TV

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