A federal judge on Friday decided not to agree with Apple’s request that Samsung be penalized for leaking information to the news media. The statements at issue were previously blocked from being presented to a jury, now hearing a patent infringement trial involving the two companies.
U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh did leave open the possibility Samsung's actions could be reviewed after the trial is concluded in San Jose, Calif.
Jurors were instructed not to read news reports or social media comments about the trial. The nine jurors could be “fair” and “impartial” in the case, the judge concluded, after questioning the jury.
Samsung sent the media links to some evidence that was blocked by Koh. The links and content showed Samsung did not copy the iPhone and iPad, Samsung claimed. Samsung said its statements were allowed under protected free speech, according to news reports.
The actions by Samsung angered Attorney William F. Lee, who is representing Apple in the case. He claimed, "This deliberate attempt to influence the trial with inadmissible evidence is both improper and unethical," according to a report from The Los Angeles Times.
"This press statement wrongly calls into question the very integrity of the Court and the judicial process, and undermines Apple's fundamental right to a fair trial by impartial jurors uninfluenced by extrajudicial statements,” Lee added. “The Court should not condone this behavior; the Court can, and should, severely sanction it."
In another request by Apple, Koh denied an attempt to prevent the release of marketing materials and sales details by the company, according to Bloomberg News. Apple claims these are trade secrets but Samsung wanted to present them in the trial.
Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages from Samsung. Samsung countersued and said Apple is infringing on five patents.
It was revealed on Friday that Apple spent more than $647 million on ads for the iPhone in the United States and $457.2 million for the iPad.
On Friday, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, said when he saw Samsung’s Galaxy’s tablet computer, he thought, “They are just going to copy our whole product line,” according to news reports.
There was also a lot of free press coverage in the media about the iPhone, which promoted the product.
The $2.5 billion that Apple is seeking from Samsung would mark a record for a patent dispute if Apple is successful in proving its case.
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