Judge calls for ‘global peace’ in Apple-Samsung patent war

Updated 07 December 2012
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Judge calls for ‘global peace’ in Apple-Samsung patent war

SAN JOSE, California: A judge mulling whether to trim or overturn Apple’s billion-dollar damages award against Samsung called for a cease-fire in the ongoing patent war between the smartphone titans.
“I think it’s time for global peace,” US District Court Judge Lucy Koh said after legal teams from Apple and Samsung dueled for hours over post-verdict motions in her courtroom in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose.
“Let me hear if there is anything the court can do,” she continued. “It would be good for consumers; good for the industry and good for the parties.”
Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven responded to the challenge by saying the South Korean consumer electronics firm was willing to negotiate a settlement with Apple but “the ball is in their court.”
Apple attorney Harold McElhinny expressed no interest in working out a settlement, opting instead to urge Koh to back legal “remedies” daunting enough to dissuade a powerhouse like Samsung from ever copying an Apple gadget.
“It is the power of this court to establish a line and enforce it,” McElhinny argued. “If you didn’t see the same case that the jury saw, I am not sure how we get to resolution.”
Verhoeven told Koh that Apple was engaging in “thermo-nuclear war” and choosing the court instead of the market as the battle ground.
Koh massaged her temples at times as she grilled rival attorneys for more than four hours regarding nuances of law and evidence underlying the slew of motions filed after the $ 1.049 billion jury verdict three months earlier.
At times, she challenged Apple to convince her why the damages award for patent infringement wasn’t excessive.
How legal and sound the jury’s calculations were, and whether the massive award should be reduced or even whether a new trial should be held just to recalculate damages, were among the matters tackled by Koh.
“I have quite a number of questions, because there are so many issues and they are quite complex,” Koh told the rival legal teams.
“I am planning to issue orders in installments, organized by subject matter,” she added, explaining that her decisions on motions would be doled out in the weeks or months ahead.
Koh questioned the jury’s mathematical and legal logic, targeting specific Samsung smartphones at issue in the case.
“I don’t see how you can look at the aggregate verdict without looking at the pieces put together to make that verdict,” Koh replied after Apple attorneys urged her not to try to figure out the jury’s reasoning, device by device.
“If there is a basis to uphold the damages award, by the record, then I am going to uphold it,” she continued. “But I think it is appropriate to do analysis by product.”
Apple attorneys protested that Koh was trying to dig into the jury’s thought process, while Samsung countered that it was proper for the judge to “reverse engineer” the damages award.
Motions addressed included Samsung’s request to have the verdict overturned on the grounds that a juror’s own legal dispute wrongly led to the South Korean firm being hit with a billion-dollar patent damages award.
Samsung wanted the verdict tossed out based on the jury foreman’s undisclosed legal skirmish with Seagate nearly 20 years ago.
The foreman had worked for Seagate, a technology company in which Samsung owns a small stake, and wound up declaring bankruptcy after a court battle with his former employer.
Samsung tried to convince Koh that the juror’s experience influenced the August verdict, in what amounted to misconduct strong enough to have the outcome overturned.
“He was deliberately dishonest,” argued Samsung attorney John Quinn. “He should have been excused.”
Apple argued that it was ludicrous to believe the man held a grudge for 19 years and then made it his purpose in life to get onto the jury to exact revenge.
Koh is also considering a motion by Apple for an injunction banning US sales of eight Samsung smartphone models said to contain patented technology at issue in the trial.
Apple also wants the award tripled on the grounds the patent infringement was “willful.”
The damages the jury ordered Samsung to pay to Apple for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features made it one of the biggest patent cases in decades.
Jurors decided the case with over 700 separate claims in less than three days of deliberations.
Samsung had steadfastly denied the charges by Apple, claiming it developed its devices independently. It unsuccessfully argued that Apple infringed on its wireless patents.


British court dismisses charges against Barclays over 2008 Qatar deal

Updated 21 May 2018
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British court dismisses charges against Barclays over 2008 Qatar deal

LONDON: A British court has dismissed charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) against Barclays over its 2008 capital raising, the bank said on Monday, suspending for now the threat of regulatory sanctions on its business operations.
The SFO was however not prepared to let the case drop.
“We are likely to seek to reinstate the charges by applying to the High Court,” an SFO spokesman said. It was not clear when that application would be heard.
Barclays denied the SFO’s allegation that a $3 billion loan it made to Qatar in November 2008 was connected with a Qatari investment in the British bank which ultimately helped it avoid a British government rescue during the financial crisis, unlike its rivals Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.
An end to the SFO’s case against Barclays and its operating subsidiary would remove the biggest remaining legal headache facing Barclays over its conduct during the financial crisis.
The collapse of one of its most high-profile corporate prosecutions would also represent a major setback for the SFO, with the prosecutor’s office under fire from politicians in recent years.
Qatar, which is a major investor in Britain, has not been accused of wrongdoing itself, but public companies in Britain are normally prohibited from lending money for the purchase of their own shares, known as “financial assistance.”
The SFO had been pursuing charges that Barclays unlawfully received such financial assistance, and that it had conspired with former senior executives to commit fraud over two so-called ‘advisory services agreements’ between Qatar and the bank which facilitated the fundraising.
NOT OVER YET
Even if the SFO were to fail in its efforts to reinstate the charges, Barclays still faces other legal and regulatory problems related to the 2008 fundraising.
The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the advisory services agreements.
Separately four former Barclays bankers face a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation when they negotiated a capital injection for the bank from Qatar, in a trial due to start next January.
The four are former chief executive John Varley, and senior executives Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath.
Barclays said the dismissal of the charges against itself should not be taken to have any bearing on whether other people may have committed a criminal offense.
Lawyers representing Boath and Jenkins declined to comment, while lawyers for the other two did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
British businesswoman Amanda Staveley has a separate $1 billion civil lawsuit against Barclays over the same fundraising.
Staveley’s private equity group PCP Capital Partners is claiming damages for alleged fraudulent misrepresentation in a row over whether Barclays offered Qatar and Abu Dhabi investors the same deal terms for participating in a fundraising in 2008.
Barclays has called the PCP lawsuit “misconceived.” Staveley declined to comment.
Barclays shares were up 0.7 percent by 1300 GMT, in line with the FTSE 350 British banks index.