Perry Mason-like Drama Emerges From Samsung v. Apple Fight; Judge Koh "visibly upset"


Editor in Chief
Staff member
Jan 5, 2011

Updated: Edited to more accurately reflect timeline of events that were unclear in previous reports.

We have been purposefully holding off for a few days on reporting any Samsung vs. Apple patent wars stories, because they were getting to be a bit overwhelming. Today's news is so mind-boggling, we just had to share it. In fact, you may want to sit down with some popcorn for this one, because some almost Perry Mason-like shenanigans have been occurring and this is just the first week of the trial! (The article seems long at a glance, but is a fast read and very much worth it.)

First, we will catch you guys up on recent developments. Basically, Samsung's star lawyer, John Quinn, tried to have some very damaging info entered in the trial as evidence that virtual proves Samsung was designing their rounded corner smartphone either before or at the same time as Apple was. Additionally, this evidence even reveals a very suggestive internal Apple email that suggests Apple stole Sony's design, or at least borrowed from it liberally. However, for some reason that the Judge never made clear, she would not allow Samsung's lawyers to enter this information as evidence and had it stricken from the proceedings.

This, of course, completely stymied and frustrated Mr. Quinn and his legal team. Shortly after this, Mr. Quinn made the decision to release the information to the press in response to their requests. Apple made "false representations" about Mr. Quinn and his team, and several unethical news outlets (without any facts or even having seen the evidence) began to publish this as fact.

After that a firestorm erupted. Apple's lawyers were seething and implored the Judge for retribution. They let it be known that they would file an “emergency motion for sanctions.” Judge Lucy Koh herself was described as "visibly upset" over the events. After this, Judge Koh demanded that Samsung's Attorney, Mr. Quinn explain who drafted it and what his role in it was. He filed a document called the Quinn Declaration (found in a source link below), basically explaining that his release of the evidence was not meant to circumvent Judge Koh's suppression of the evidence, but was simply a response to the media calling his reputation into question, and was in the spirit of knowledge the press was asking for.

He shared that his public submission of the evidence was neither "illegal" nor "unethical" and was a response to Apple's "false representations." He said, “These false representations by Apple’s counsel publicly and unfairly called my personal reputation into question. [They] have resulted in media reports likewise falsely impugning me personally.” Additionally he further elaborated that, “Samsung’s brief statement and transmission of public materials in response to press enquiries was not motivated by or designed to influence jurors.” He also indicated (and this was my favorite part of the brief), that he was keeping with the spirit of the trial in which Judge Koh had expressed that the case would be "open to the public" and that the documents in the case would not be sealed because "the whole trial was going to be open." Here's a quote with his final concluding arguments,

If those jurors did read the presentation – which includes sections of testimony by ex-Apple designer Shin Nishibori, who had been tasked by the company to come up with what he believed Sony’s interpretation of the iPhone might be, as well as concept art by Samsung’s own team for touchscreen-centric handsets that predate the reveal of the original iPhone – Quinn says, the fault is theirs’ alone.

“The members of the jury had already been selected at the time of the statement and the transmission of these public exhibits,” he concluded, “and had been specifically instructed not to read any form of media relating to this case.”

What can we say about this? This is unbelievable, and proves that sometimes fact really is stranger than fiction. It will be thrilling to see how this turns out. Below is a quote from the RedOrbit article detailing how things went down when Attorney Quinn attempted to enter his evidence to the court and got shot down three times by Judge Koh. It will likely have you shaking your head, or screaming at your monitor.

Samsung’s lawyer, John Quinn, began the court session on Tuesday by begging Judge Lucy Koh to allow the Korean company to submit some drawings and other documents as evidence in the hearing. Judge Koh had previously denied this same request three times, and was none too pleased with Quinn pushing the matter. According to Thompson Reuters, when Judge Koh once more denied the Samsung request, Quinn began to get upset, saying, “What’s the point of having a trial?”

“What’s the point?”

Koh responded, “Mr. Quinn, please, please, we have done three reconsiderations on this. You’ve made your record.”

Quinn pressed the matter further, begging for explanation when Judge Koh shut him down.

“Mr. Quinn, don’t make me sanction you, please!” the judge barked. “I want you to sit down, please.”

When opening statements were over and lunch had been eaten, some select journalists were surprised to see a very interesting press statement land in their email inboxes containing the exact evidence Judge Koh had previously denied 3 times.

“The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design,” the statement said. “Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.”

Source: PhoneArena, RedOrbit, & Quinn Declaration
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