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Judge Overrules Samsung Objection To Jury Instructional Video 232

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sure-patenting-boxes-is-legal dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh on Sunday overruled Samsung Electronics' objections to showing jurors a recent instructional video on how patents work, ahead of a trial in a patent dispute between Apple and Samsung. The new video, called 'The Patent Process: An Overview for Jurors,' was developed by the Federal Judicial Center to provide jurors with an introduction to the patent system. Samsung's objection is to several scenes in which Apple products are depicted and used (and, by extension, seen as patentable and innovative)."

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Judge Overrules Samsung Objection To Jury Instructional Video

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:26PM (#46626969)
    Apple products in a patent instructional video? In a case involving Samsung? Steve Jobs is smiling somewhere. (As to where he is smiling from, I'll leave up to your imagination.)
  • Bad law... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:27PM (#46626971)
    How can an "instructional video" showing one of the parties as an example not present a bias?
  • Instant. Appeal. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Outtascope (972222) on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:32PM (#46627001)
    Un. Fu. King. Believable.
  • Why??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JakartaDean (834076) on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:32PM (#46627005) Journal

    Why would she allow a prejudicial video when an alternative, with no products from either side, is available? The entire text of her ruling reads:

    Samsung’s objection to Apple’s proposed version of the Federal Judicial Center instructional video (ECF No. 1534) is overruled. The parties shall bring the November 2013 version of the video, “The Patent Process: An Overview for Jurors,” and shall include the handout referenced in the video in the jury binders.

    The article apparently originally appeared on Recode.net [recode.net] so better to use primary source (which has the ruling and both videos.

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:33PM (#46627013)

    easy.... americans are corrupt fuckers

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:38PM (#46627041)
    many products can be shown that explain it. however it should never be one of the 2 opposing companies products, the risk of bias is simply too high.
  • Re:Bad law... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:40PM (#46627061)

    I like the way you single out North Americans, as if they indeed are somehow more corrupt than Europeans or Africans or South Americans or Asians or Australians. Time for a reality check, dude.

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:43PM (#46627085) Homepage Journal

    In the case of software patents and Copyright idiocy, the USA sure leads the charge.

    cf. "Under the EPC, and in particular its Article 52,[1] "programs for computers" are not regarded as inventions for the purpose of granting European patents,[2] but this exclusion from patentability only applies to the extent to which a European patent application or European patent relates to a computer program as such.[3] As a result of this partial exclusion, and despite the fact that the EPO subjects patent applications in this field to a much stricter scrutiny [4] when compared to their American counterpart, that does not mean that all inventions including some software are de jure not patentable." from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:44PM (#46627093)
    Not only as "an" example, the video featured an Apple II (I think), an Apple MacBook Pro, an Apple iPad, and then an Apple iPhone all in succession during a discussion about how patents lead to inventions which change society. I mean... really?
  • Re:Bad law... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:48PM (#46627113)

    If this video were the ONLY possible means of educating the jurors about the patent system, you might have a constructive point. It's nevertheless "leading" or whatever to portray any Apple product in a positive light with respect to patents, in the process of a trial having specifically to do with a patent dispute involving Apple products. Are you really this ignorant of how the (average) human mind actually works and processes stimuli, to think that such portrayal of any same-branded products could not possibly have an adverse effect on how people judge the matter at hand? Samsung's objection is very relevant. Another means to educate the jurors - one that does not include any references at all to either litigant's products - should be chosen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:49PM (#46627125)

    The video coincidentally happens to feature Apple. Nothing in this judge's history indicates any bias IN FAVOR of Apple.

    You obviously don't understand. The past behavior of the judge is not what is at issue
    here.

    The video will be seen by any competent attorney who works for Samsung as a means by
    which the jurors could be influenced to reach a conclusion which is favorable to one of the two
    litigating parties. As such, all the time and money which is being spent on these proceedings will
    be wasted.

    It is comical that the judge is so stupid. I wonder if she got her position because she is a female
    and a member of a minority. Because she certainly did not get her position by being competent.

    .

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the_B0fh (208483) on Monday March 31, 2014 @08:00PM (#46627163) Homepage

    I like the way you didn't look at the video before commenting.

    Lets see how might the video not be biased. Oh, it has laptops and desktops from various manufacturers, *INCLUDING* Apple.

    Gee, some how, that becomes bias?

    What an idiot.

  • by msauve (701917) on Monday March 31, 2014 @08:06PM (#46627193)
    The whole purpose of the patent system is to get inventors to publicize their inventions so they can be copied (after the patent term expires). Copying with greater efficiency benefits the consumer. You seem to imply that copying is bad, in and of itself. Do you only use Bayer aspirin? Do you avoid iPhones and iPads because they don't use Intel microprocessors?

    Getting a patent is supposed to require coming up with something new and non-obvious - something many of Apple's patent claims lack. (e.g. pinch/spread to compress/zoom).

    There's also the issue of Apple's apparent copying of a Samsung design [blogspot.com] when they created the iPad, which they disingenuously tried to claim in reverse.
  • Re:Bad law... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rnturn (11092) on Monday March 31, 2014 @08:14PM (#46627215)

    If Samsung loses this decision, anyone want to guess what the basis of their appeal will be?

    Was it not possible to come up with an instructional video that used fictional companies, inventions, etc. to instruct the viewers? Using Apple products -- or any other well-known vendor's produts -- as examples was not terribly bright.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday March 31, 2014 @08:48PM (#46627393)

    I can see arguments for both sides.

    We're all aware of some of the asinine judgments that jurors and judges have passed down when they don't understand the technology or science at play.

    On the other side, however, only allowing doctors to serve as jurors for doctors or engineers to be jurors for engineers can get into some dangerous territory quickly. For instance, what's to stop them from looking out for their own? Doctors could get sued for malpractice and never be found to be at fault. Engineers could be sued for cutting corners and then get off the hook because "it's simply too complicated for a normal person to understand". Having a jury of your peers that includes laypeople ensures that such things aren't possible. Having a random sampling also helps to ensure everyone is treated more equally, otherwise some people will be playing under a different set of rules than the others.

    That said, having laypeople is fundamentally at odds with the patent system, which specifies the idea of non-obviousness in terms of whether or not it's obvious to one "skilled in the art", i.e. someone with domain knowledge. A layperson isn't really qualified to judge non-obviousness without first receiving sufficient instruction to become skilled in the art, which simply isn't feasible. As such, it seems like it may make sense to bring in professionals for such cases.

    One result I can pretty much guarantee for you is that if they do start bringing in professionals instead of laypeople to deal with these cases, the patent system will get overhauled in short order, simply because the professionals won't want to be getting dragged into court constantly to serve as jurors a disproportionate amount of the time compared to a typical person. Any changes that need to happen to get things fixed will suddenly happen when you start inconveniencing everyone in the field.

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Monday March 31, 2014 @09:03PM (#46627489)

    Not only Americans... just check your neighborhood... or in the mirror.

    I was with you until "in the mirror". The fact is, most people in most places are not this corrupt. Most people are subject to a minority who happen to "run things".

    As a matter of fact, this is part of the problem: the average person working a job and raising a family cannot comprehend the greed, the self-interested several-moves-ahead strategy that looks like things "just worked out that way", the corruption, the ruthlessness, and the dehumanization. If the average person fully understood these forces, then you would in fact have a situation where public awareness keeps these abuses in check.

    Adolph Hitler himself described the phenomenon with surprising candor. He said: "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one."

    Because they themselves do not use this level of deceit, it does not occur to them that others do. Therefore there is a certain innocence or naivete that prevents the average person from suspecting and guarding against such things.

    A gaze into this mirror for most would reflect not such corruption, but a kind of innocence that ideally would know better. History is replete with examples, but of course that only happens elsewhere. It can't happen here. It certainly cannot happen in a manner that is subtle, not publicised, not obvious, not easily detectable. Or so the thinking goes.

    The truth is, the corrupt are competing not with a vigilant and wise public, but against other sociopaths. Other sociopaths deal with this not by exposing all corruption, for that would harm themselves, but by carving out their own little niche that doesn't encroach upon the terriority of their competitors more than necessary. The average person has no clue how much they're being lied to on a daily basis by governments, corporations, and other institutions which enjoy an automatic credibility they have not earned.

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Monday March 31, 2014 @09:11PM (#46627527)

    These are shown for about 5 seconds of a 20 minute instructional video, and none of them even show an Apple logo. Later in the video it shows people using an Apple laptop to do work, not as an example of a patented technology.

    This is such a tea pot tempest. It'd be silly to not use this video.

    The problem is that we have two standards. One is the level of objectivity and reasonable thinking you should be able to expect of adult people. The second is the actual thinking you really get from adult people.

    According to the first, it's truly a tempest in a teapot. According to the second, the cost of producing a video that would put to rest entirely such objections is negligable compared to the cost of the rest of the trial.

    Branding, logos, and emotional situations associated with them are used in marketing for the precise reason that they bypass the former standard and appeal to the second. All major corporations engage in this. Apple is not in any way special and neither is Samsung. They do it because on the vast majority of soft-minded and easily influenced people, they work. Just consider, why would beer commercials show vibrant parties and bikini babes instead of telling you about how the beer was brewed and why it's better? Why do car commercials show families and small children to tug at your heartstrings instead of explaining why their engineering principles are sound? They want the second standard to prevail; it is much more malleable and easier to manipulate by far.

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday March 31, 2014 @09:22PM (#46627583)

    These are shown for about 5 seconds of a 20 minute instructional video, and none of them even show an Apple logo.

    So in other words, the jurors could easily assume they are Samsung products. :-)

  • by causality (777677) on Monday March 31, 2014 @09:29PM (#46627603)

    I know I'm going to look foolish for saying this, but I actually watched part of the video (enough to know how apple products are portrayed)! The apple product in the video is being used to file for a patent. There is _nothing_ in the video about patents owned by apple, or patents involving apple products. The suggestion by Samsung that the video biases jurors is absurd.

    Yes, just like the Pepsi Cola in the action movie is merely being used by the badass hero to quench his thirst, and certainly no claim is being made that it is superior to Coca-Cola or any niche brand of soft drink.

    Yet Pepsi Cola paid a lot of money to make that happen.

    Why should Apple get this treatment for free with government support? When it would be so easy to create a video with none of these questions? That's the take-away here.

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Monday March 31, 2014 @09:35PM (#46627631)

    easy.... americans are corrupt fuckers

    No. What they are is lazy, childish, obese, opiated by entertainment, naive, and self-centered. This enables the corruption by the minority who really run things.

    The rest of the world only thinks Americans are evil and corrupt because of the myth that the US government and US corporations are representing the will of the American people and operating on their behalf.

    Most Americans would be shocked and horrified if they learned about what their government and major corporations have done to places like South America, the Middle East, and parts of Africa, let alone what goes on at home.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday March 31, 2014 @10:21PM (#46627819)

    Ever notice that you tend to see a lot of Apple products in TV shows and movies, and the the logos are visible? that isn't coincidence, nor is it because Hollywood likes Macs, that's because Apple paid them. If you see a product logo, money changed hands. Otherwise it'll be something generic, or the logo will be removed, or what not. They don't give freebies on that sort of things because they can, and do, make a lot of money on it.

    Apple isn't the only company that does product placement, but they are by far the most common computer company that does it. Most others rarely, if ever, do it. The only recent example I can think of for another one is Dell in V for Vendetta.

    So why does Apple do this? Because they want to create the image in people's minds that apple are what all the cool, good looking, people (who actors in shows invariably are) use. It is an image thing with the brand. They want people to see it all the time, used by the hero characters. That leads people to form the opinion that they might want to own one.

    They wouldn't spend the money doing it if they didn't believe it was effective.

  • by Sun (104778) <shachar@shemesh.biz> on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @01:39AM (#46628367) Homepage

    In the previous case, Apple asked, and was awarded by the same judge, covering the Samsung logo on the TVs used to display evidence to the Jurors. The claim then was that the court use of Samsung products might be seen as an endorsement of the company. This is, substantially, the same claim now used by Samsung.

    I have not seen the whole video. The parts I did see did not show the Apple logo prominently. If that is the case throughout, I think this decision is reasonable. This, assuming none of the products used are the same as the products around which this case revolves. I believe this is the case (I did not see an Apple logo in my skimming, and the products are macbooks, while this case is about phones).

    If, however, the Apple logo was on screen, or the products do have an overlap, then I think that decision, particularly by that judge, is hypocritical and wrong.

    Shachar

  • Re:Bad law... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @05:05AM (#46628867)

    How can an "instructional video" showing one of the parties as an example not present a bias?

    How can a video about American fast food be created and not show McDonalds?

    Bias or not, it would prove rather pointless to create a video about American business and innovation and not use Apple, in much the same way my example would prove to be a rather incomplete documentary.

    And yes, I can see bias. Care to tell me how the hell they picked the jury pool in this particular case? I'm sure that was no easy task trying to find 12 people who currently do not own nor have ever owned one of the products in question to avoid bias in the deliberation room.

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