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Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 04:49 pm PT (07:49 pm ET)

Judge angered by continued Apple, Samsung courtroom "theatrics"

Apple v. Samsung presiding Judge Lucy Koh on Tuesday seemed to have had enough of the parties' legal maneuvering, the latest being an Apple and Intel bid to block testimony from a Samsung witness just hours before he was slated to take the stand.

A culmination of courtroom "theatrics" came to a head on Tuesday when Judge Koh told Apple and Samsung counsel that, “I want papers. I don’t trust what any lawyer tells me in this courtroom. I want to see actual papers.” The judge made the strongly-worded declaration after Apple and Intel lawyers proposed a barring of testimony from Samsung witness Tim Williams.

As reported by CNet, Apple claims Williams did not properly disclose that he had signed nondisclosure agreements, including one from Intel prohibiting him from talking about the chip maker's source code. Samsung had brought Williams in to testify that Apple infringes on the Korean company's cellular and data transmission patents, with the discussion expected to include talk of the source code covered in the NDA.

An Intel lawyer entered court to say Williams was almost involved with a separate ITC and Motorola case concerning the same issue, but more importantly noted the witness had not disclosed in his resume the multitude of NDAs he had signed, as well as his role in other cases.

"We raised this issue with Samsung, they told us they'd get back to us on this issue," the Intel lawyer said. "The issue was then dropped, we didn't hear anything else from Dr. Williams. He didn't do ITC, then we got notice about him being in this case."

While the Intel and Apple arguments are not unusual, the timing in which they were presented was, with the objections coming mere hours before Williams was scheduled to testify. Judge Koh decided Williams would not be able to take the stand until Samsung, Apple and Intel worked through the NDA arguments. Intel later downgraded its objection, saying it no longer sought to have the testimony blocked and instead requested sanctions against Samsung for the alleged misconduct.

Judge Lucy Koh

Judge Lucy Koh. | Source: U.S. District Court


Tuesday's developments are a continuation of unorthodox legal maneuvers taken by both parties, though it appears Samsung has faced the brunt of Judge Koh's ire as the company has already been sanctioned four times. At one point the judge called attention the parties' sloppy case handling, saying, "I will not let any theatrics or sideshows distract us from what we're here to do, which is to fairly and timely decide this case."

In a recent example of "theatrics," Samsung lead counsel John Quinn was reprimanded for authorizing a "leak" of excluded court evidence pertaining to a "Sony-styled" iPhone.