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Thursday, July 12, 2012, 05:56 pm PT (08:56 pm ET)

Apple, Samsung submit juror questionnaire inquiries ahead of trial

Both Apple and Samsung on Wednesday filed respective documents pertaining to voir dire, or the process of jury selection, with the South Korean company proposing about 700 questions to the iPhone maker's 49.

Along with the prospective questions that will ultimately result in a venire (jury) the companies also filed jury verdict forms for the upcoming patent dispute scheduled to begin proceedings on July 30.

The disparity between Samsung's massive 700 proposed queries which amounted to 40 pages of extremely pointed questions and Apple's 49 is indicative of the two companies' differing court strategies.

Patent law expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents believes Samsung's intentions are two-fold as the 700 questions serve to "muddy the water" in hopes of confusing the jury and demonstrate to presiding Judge Lucy Koh that Apple's claims need to be further narrowed. He goes on to say that the Galaxy maker's questions are impracticable.

"The poor jurors would have to spend a significant part of the rest of their lives in the San Jose federal courthouse," Mueller quips.

While Apple is looking to bring together related findings, Samsung wants to keep claims as disaggregated as possible. Due to the sheer number and variety of intellectual property being claimed a jury will have to resolve an adequate amount of questions in order to ensure that a court ruling for total damages is clear enough to be valid if the decision is later successfully appealed.

Samsung is apparently looking to weed out so-called "Apple fan boys" and jurors who may hold negative views of Asian corporations.

Questions 4, 5 and 6 of Samsung's proposed 700:
"4. Do you have any negative impressions or opinions about South Korean companies or business people?"
"5. Do you think many Asian companies steal what others have created and sell products based on copied innovation?"
"6. Have you been negatively impacted by the recent economic downturn?"
In addition to the above, the South Korean company also seems to want jurors who haven't been keeping up with FRAND-related antitrust counterclaims or FRAND patents in general:
"7. Do you think most companies with monopoly power would end up abusing their monopoly power in the marketplace?"



Apple, on the other hand, is seeking jurors who are against the copying and stealing of ideas:
"1. Have you ever created or developed something and had the idea taken from you? If yes, please explain."
  • "2. Have you ever been accused of taking the idea of another? If yes, please explain."



  • Judge Koh is expected to make a judgment regarding the proposed questions soon. It remains unclear how Koh will react to Samsung's 40-page barrage as the jurist previously required the companies to pare down their original claims which she called "cruel and unusual punishment to a jury."