One of the interesting tidbits that came out of last week's billion-dollar verdict
in Apple v. Samsung was that the jury's foreman, a patent holder himself, was instrumental
in leading the other members through the various complicated infringement claims. Now, Groklaw analyzes an interview the man gave with Bloomberg News
(video), in which his statements reveal a basic misunderstanding of what qualifies as prior art
. Quoting Groklaw:
"In discussing the first patent on the list, he says they got into a discussion about the prior art that was presented at trial. Here's why they discounted it: 'The software on the Apple side could not be placed into the processor on the prior art and vice versa. That means they are not interchangeable. That changed everything right there.' That isn't disqualifying for prior art. It doesn't have to run on the same processor. It doesn't have to run at all. It can be words on a piece of paper. (If you don't believe little old me, here's a lawyer noticing the video too now.) ... The foreman, in answering criticisms, says that the jury paid close attention to the jury instructions. But looking at this one, did they? I'm sure they meant to, and I'm also sure they did their best according to what they understood. But this was an error, and it's one I don't think the judge can ignore, if anyone brings it to her attention."