Apple seeks severe punishment for Samsung lawyer's actions

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Aug 2, 2012 12:53pm EDT

Attendees sit in front of an Apple logo during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco, California June 11, 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Attendees sit in front of an Apple logo during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco, California June 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Lam

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc asked a U.S. judge on Thursday to punish Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for a Samsung attorney's conduct by ordering that the South Korean company has infringed Apple's phone design patents, according to a court filing.

Trial began this week in high stakes litigation between the two companies. Apple sued Samsung last year in San Jose, California federal court, accusing Samsung of copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung has countersued.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on Tuesday had barred Samsung's attorneys from presenting some evidence during opening statements. Later that afternoon, Samsung emailed reporters links to that material, along with a statement that "fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence."

Samsung attorney John Quinn, of the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, acknowledged in a court filing on Wednesday that he authorized the press statement but said it was not designed to influence the jury.

"The members of the jury had already been selected at the time of the statement and the transmission of these public exhibits, and had been specifically instructed not to read any form of media relating to this case," Quinn wrote.

Apple called his conduct "egregious, because it impugned the integrity of the court," according to its legal brief on Thursday.

Samsung spokesman Adam Yates said the company will be submitting a response. "Apple's filing is baseless," Yates said.

A typical sanction for attorney misbehavior is a monetary fine, but Apple is asking Koh to rule that Apple's phone design patents in the case are valid, and that Samsung has infringed them. Those are issues that the jury has been empanelled to decide.

The trial is set to resume on Friday.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, No. 11-1846.

(Reporting By Dan Levine; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (12)
LynCe wrote:
This trial is destroying Apple’s image as a cool company.

Aug 02, 2012 1:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MATX wrote:
My prevailing sense watching this trial, which makes me very uncomfortable,is that a “fix” is in at the appellate level. Very strange.

Aug 02, 2012 1:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Chazz wrote:
Lawyers….ALL of them think they’re above the law.

Is it any wonder that our “leaders” are all lawyers and…is it any wonder then, why things are so f’k'd up?

Aug 02, 2012 1:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.