San Jose, California district judge Lucy Koh probably expected this when she asked the leadership of Apple and Samsung to try and figure something out, but even her secondary goal failed to be achieved.
When the testimony phase
of the Apple-Samsung patent war came to a close
last week, judge Lucy Koh asked the company leaders of the two opponents to try and reach a settlement.
She also asked them to do their best to drop some of the charges, to give the jurors an easier time of reaching the verdict, since they have to unanimously reach a ruling on each contested patent, a complicated and time-consuming task.
The Judge also changed the terms of a previous court decision
, issued by another magistrate, which prevented Samsung from coming across as more untrustworthy than Apple.
We have no doubt that Judge Koh fully expected the settlement talks to fail, but she probably still hoped that at least some horse trading would be done with the intellectual property claims.
Alas, not only did this fail to occur, but the final document detailing the guidelines that the jury must follow in its deliberations is long and confusing.
For those not aware of how this sort of trial works, both sides have to submit jury verdict forms, or a unified form, saying what and how the analysis should proceed.
Unfortunately, whatever “guidelines” they provided are doing more harm than good, something made all the more frustrating by the heavily technical aspect of the case.
“I have trouble understanding this, and I have spent a little more time with this than [the jury members] have. It's so complex, and there are so many pieces here,” Judge Lucy Koh said
The way things are now, the jury has to read 100 pages of instructions. It is also reconvening today (Tuesday, August 21, 2012) to hear closing arguments before beginning deliberations. By the time they are done, they will reach a verdict and decide what damages should be paid. Both Samsung and Apple are at risk.