The jury deciding the US$2.2 billion patent-infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung began its first full day of deliberations trying to tackle the question of what Steve Jobs said when he decided to sue Samsung and whether he also wanted to go after Google.
The insight into the jury's secret deliberations was revealed in a note sent to the federal judge in the case a little over an hour into its work Wednesday morning. While deliberating, the jury must ask any questions it has, no matter how important or trivial, through such notes that are also made available to attorneys and entered into the public record.
"What did Steve Jobs say at the moment he directed or decided to prosecute a case against Samsung? Was Google mentioned and/or included in that directive or subsequent directives to be included in any way in the case?" read one of the notes.
Google played something of a shadow presence throughout much of the case. The company is responsible for much of the Android software code being fought over but wasn't named by Apple in its lawsuit.
Samsung has used that in its defense, arguing that it didn't develop the software in question, but toward the end of the case it was revealed that Google had agreed to assume some of Samsung's defense on specific patents related to Android.
The jury note indicates the question of Google is being considered in deliberations.
The jury also asked how Apple chose the five patents it is pursuing against Samsung, how Samsung chose the two patents that make up its counter case and what Samsung's top executive said when the case against it was launched by Apple.
"What did the CEO of Samsung say or write at the moment he first heard about Apple believing Samsung was infringing their intellectual property? What subsequent direction did he give to his team as to how to respond?"
But as jurors would soon find out, the answers to the questions fall outside of the information they can ask for.
While Samsung's lawyers wanted the jurors to be referred to a Steve Jobs 2010 memo in which he called for a "holy war" against Android, Apple lawyers argued that the document didn't answer the question of what he said at the time the decision was made to sue Samsung.
U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh agreed and answered all four questions with the same answer: You have all the evidence available to you in the case and you need to make your decision based on what you have.
Deliberations will continue until 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time Wednesday and continue each weekday until a verdict is reached.
Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is [email protected]