Samsung claims jury foreman in Apple patent case lied

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Samsung claims jury foreman in Apple patent case lied

Wants new trial, ruling thrown out

The foreman of the US jury that awarded Apple billion-dollar damages against Samsung in August was untruthful and biased, according to court documents (pdf) filed by the South Korean electronics giant.

Samsung discovered that jury foreman Velvin Hogan was sued by storage vendor Seagate in 1993 but did not disclose the lawsuit and another unrelated court case, despite being asked under oath if he had been involved in a past lawsuit ahead of the patent trial, legal commentary site Groklaw reporte.

The smartphone manufacturer has used the discovery to push for a new trial in the case, claiming bias and juror misconduct.

Hogan's past came into light as one of the lawyers who sued him on Seagate's behalf is married to a partner at Samsung's law firm, Qunn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the court documents state.

Samsung had previously indicated that it believed juror misconduct had tainted the verdict in August, but haven't disclosed its reasons until now.

However, the undisclosed Seagate lawsuit was discovered by Reuters as well in September, as the news agency examined court documents.

Reuters interviewed Hogan who said he had been laid off by Seagate in the early 90s and that the storage vendor wanted him to return money forwarded to pay off a mortgage on a home in Colorado due to him relocating to California.

Hogan told Reuters he sued Seagate for fraud. However, Seagate countersued and Hogan said he declared personal bankruptcy to protect his house.

Instead, Samsung's filing shows that it was in fact Seagate that sued Hogan for breach of contract after the engineer failed to repay $US25,000 with interest in 1991 as required under the terms of his employment.

Samsung bought Seagate's hard drive unit in 2011 and became the largest shareholder in the company.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Hogan denied any misconduct and said jurors were only required to disclose any litigation within the last ten years.

"I answered every question the judge asked me," Hogan said.

He added that Samsung's filing made him wonder if the Korean company let him into the jury just to have an excuse for a new trial if it didn't go in its favour.

Samsung has also requested the jury's ruling to be thrown out at the December 6 hearing before presiding US judge Lucy Koh.

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