TECH

Velvin Hogan, Foreman In Apple Samsung Case, Says Jury Didn't Want $1 Billion Verdict To Be 'Just A Slap On The Wrist'

FILE - In this July 7, 2010 file picture a man walks past near the logos of the Samsung Electronics at its show room in Seoul
FILE - In this July 7, 2010 file picture a man walks past near the logos of the Samsung Electronics at its show room in Seoul, South Korea. A Duesseldorf, Germany, court has issued a split decision in a patent dispute between rivals Apple and Samsung over two of the Korean company's tablet computers. California-based Apple sued to have sales of both the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 stopped. But the Duesseldorf state court ruled Tuesday July 24, 2012 that Samsung made enough changes to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in its 10.1N that it no longer infringes upon any Apple iPad patents or designs. It said, however, that the back and sides of the smaller Galaxy Tab 7.7 imitated the Apple design in an "unacceptable manner" and ordered European sales stopped. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man,File)

By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Jurors felt Samsung Electronics Co Ltd should pay significant damages in the landmark patent trial against Apple Inc, even though they viewed Apple's demands as too high, according to the foreman.

Apple won a sweeping victory against Samsung on Friday in a federal courtroom in San Jose, California.

A nine-member jury found the Korean company had infringed on several Apple features and design patents and awarded the iPhone maker $1.05 billion in damages, which could be tripled because the jury also decided the Korean firm had acted willfully.

Apple said it intends to seek sales bans against Samsung mobile products, which Samsung will oppose.

In an interview on Saturday, jury foreman Velvin Hogan, 67, said Apple's arguments about the need to protect innovation were persuasive in the jury room. He also said video testimony from senior Samsung executives made it "absolutely" clear to them that the infringement was purposeful.

"We didn't want to give carte blanche to a company, by any name, to infringe someone else's intellectual property," Hogan told Reuters a day after the verdict.

However, Hogan said Apple's damages demand of up to $2.75 billion were "extraordinarily high," partly because it was unclear whether Apple had enough component supply to sell more phones even if it had wanted to.

FIGURING DAMAGES

Apple's damages expert testified that Samsung earned margins of roughly 35.5 percent on the products at issue in the lawsuit, on $8.16 billion in revenue. However, Hogan said they thought Apple's percentage did not properly take into account many other costs identified by Samsung.

Samsung's damages expert testified the margin should be closer to 12 percent, and the jury picked a number slightly above that, Hogan said.

"We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist," Hogan said. "We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable."

Hogan worked as an engineer for decades before he retired, and holds a patent of his own. He said jurors were able to complete their deliberations in less than three days - much faster than legal experts had predicted - because a few had engineering and legal experience, which helped with the complex issues in play.

Once they determined Apple's patents were valid, jurors evaluated every single device separately, he said.

"We didn't just go into a room and start pitching cards into a hat," he said.

At one point during the second day of deliberations, jurors turned off the lights in the room to settle a debate about the potential influence screen brightness might have on Apple's graphics interface. Their verdict: Apple's designs were unique.

"All of us feel we were fair, that we can stand by our verdict and that we have a clear conscience in that we were totally not biased one way or another," Hogan said.

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

(Editing by Vicki Allen and Bill Trott)

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