There may be an issue with the jury in the Apple v Samsung trial. It has emerged that the foreman of the jury owns smart phone patents. Both sides vetted the jury prior to the trial, however.
Velvin Hogan’s 2002 patents cover a “personal video recording/storage apparatus for downloading streaming video and data contents from a number of sources and storing the video files to an internal storage device, such as a disk drive”. These video files can be “retrieved, processed, and provided for viewing on demand at a later time”.
The Daily Mail claims that the disclosure has raised a huge potential conflict of interest. The paper suggests that if he were biased in any way towards Apple it could have had a massive influence on jury's decision.
Of course, both Apple and Samsung were given the opportunity to disqualify potential jurors from the line up is they felt that they had a conflict of interest and did so. In fact, Samsung filed 700 jury-screening questions. Hogan was known to be a patent holder.
Hogan has become a bit of a celebrity following the patent trial. The 67-year-old retired engineer was chosen by other jury members to be the Forman specifically because he was known to hold patents. As one juror told Cnet: “Apple said they owned patents, but we were debating about the prior art... Hogan holds patents, so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier.”
Hogan was interviewed by Bloomberg where he declaired that one evening he had had an “ a-ha moment” when he “suddenly decided I could defend this if it was my patent”.
“And with that, I took that story back to the jury and laid it out for them,” he told Bloomberg. However, it wasn’t a case of the rest of the jury accepting Hogan’s arguments. A 20-year-old juror lead much of the debate, according to Hogan. “He was never willing at first to take anyone's viewpoint until he had thought it out. That was a good thing,” Hogan said.
Another interesting snippet of information that came out of the interview is that nobody on the jury owned an iPhone, and Hogan has not owned any Apple equipment for a “number of years”, “intentionally” he said.