Apple-Samsung Jurors Say Google’s Role Intriguing, but Didn’t Determine Outcome
The retired IBM executive who led the Apple-Samsung jury deliberations said there was no single witness or piece of evidence that led to the panel’s decision to award Apple $119.6 million in damages.
“It’s the collection of everything we were exposed to as evidence in the case,” foreman Thomas Dunham said on Monday, speaking outside the courtroom in San Jose.
Dunham said the biggest revelation of the trial was probably that Google had agreed to indemnify Samsung on at least a couple of the patents at issue in the case.
“I think it woke us all up,” Dunham said. However, he and other jurors said that Google’s role was not a factor in the decision on infringement or the amount of damages ultimately awarded.
“Not at all,” Dunham said.
Another juror, Pamela Sage, agreed.
“It was interesting, but it didn’t change any of our thoughts,” Sage said. “It didn’t change our decision-making in any way.”
As to how it determined the amount of damages, Dunham said the jury wasn’t looking to send a message, but rather simply to award reasonable damages.
“The damages were based on the fact that both sides presented their view of what a reasonable amount of, I guess, compensation would be,” he said. “We didn’t really feel either one was what we felt was a fair and just compensation.”
In the beginning, some jurors had higher damage awards in mind and some lower, said juror Margarita Palmada, who declined to say what those amounts were.
“At the beginning we started with different amounts, but that was part of the process,” Palmada said.
As for the mistake that sent the jury back for an added two hours of deliberations, Dunham called that a “clerical error” that involved putting the wrong number into a couple of the boxes.
Dunham, who has worked restoring classic British cars since retiring from IBM, said he is considering becoming a consultant for patent issues given his experience, first at IBM and now in the jury room.
“I kind of feel like I won the lotto,” Dunham said.
He said he did hope that the parties might find a way to settle their disputes, saying that consumers are the ultimate losers in patent battles as the engineers that create products are forced to spend time with lawyers.
“It takes a lot out of your development team,” he said. “When you are pulling your key staff out, they are not doing the things they are supposed to be doing and ultimately that reflects in what we see as consumers on the shelves. … So yeah, I’d like to see them find a way to settle, but we’ll see. I hope that this in some way helps shape that future.”
Dunham and Sage said they and the other jurors worked well as a team and that each member brought a unique perspective.
“We all brought something different that we heard in the testimony,” Sage said. “We just wanted to make a fair decision. I think as a team we worked very well together. We all respected each other.”
Dunham said that the jury went over all the evidence and used the phones and tablets that were made available as exhibits.
“We went through them all,” he said. “It was a rigorous week. We left no stone unturned — made a lot of people wait, I think, but when you are talking about that kind of money and that kind of impact [you] want to do a very thorough job,” he said.
Dunham acknowledged he had the most knowledge of the patent system.
“I just happened to be a ringer,” Dunham said with a laugh.
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