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Apple vs. Samsung: iPhone maker says it didn't know of trial foreman's lawsuit

A Samsung logo in Seoul. (July 30, 2010)

A Samsung logo in Seoul. (July 30, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Apple Inc. said it wasn't aware during trial that the foreman of the jury that issued a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung Electronics Co. was involved in a lawsuit with his former employer, Seagate Technology Inc.

Samsung asked Apple to disclose when it first learned about the litigation between the jury foreman, Velvin Hogan, and Seagate. Apple responded in a filing Friday in federal court in San Jose, Calif.

Samsung is attempting to get the Aug. 24 verdict thrown out based on claims the trial was tainted by the foreman's failure during jury selection to tell U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh, who presided over the case, that he filed for bankruptcy in 1993 and was sued by Seagate.

"Apple has not identified any Apple attorney or other member of the Apple litigation teams who was aware that Mr. Hogan had been a party to lawsuits involving Seagate until after the conclusion of trial, when Samsung raised the matter in connection with its post-trial motions," Apple said in its filing.

Samsung said it needs to know when Apple learned of the Seagate litigation to determine whether the iPod maker complied with an obligation to disclose "known misrepresentations" to the court, according to court filings.

"If Apple knew that Mr. Hogan's statements were untruthful all along and stood silent in order to gain a tactical advantage from the seating of a biased juror, Apple's misconduct would itself warrant sanction and relief and certainly must be disclosed," Samsung said Samsung also disputes Apple's argument that the Suwon, South Korea-based company should have discovered the juror's litigation history before trial instead of complaining about it after the verdict.

"Apple cannot fault Samsung for not discovering juror untruthfulness while refusing to disclose whether and when Apple itself discovered this untruthfulness," Samsung said in an Oct. 30 filing.

Apple said that on the evening of July 30, after jury selection, Apple learned of Hogan's bankruptcy from publicly available records, according to Friday's filing. Apple said it didn't try to review the bankruptcy court file, which Apple's lawyers say they saw for the first time after trial when they were submitted by Samsung.

The jury in the patent-infringement case found that Samsung infringed six of seven Apple patents at issue and awarded the Cupertino, California-based company $1.05 billion in damages.

Koh has scheduled a Dec. 6 hearing to weigh Apple's bid, based on the verdict, for a permanent U.S. sales ban on at least eight Samsung smartphone models and the Tab 10.1 tablet computer. She will also consider Samsung's juror misconduct claims.

Samsung has argued that it has a "substantial strategic relationship" with Seagate and that Hogan's failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been permitted to explore. The company has also said Hogan's public statements after the verdict suggest he failed to answer the court's questions truthfully to "secure a seat on the jury." Adam Yates, a spokesman in the U.S. for Samsung, declined to comment on Apple's filing.

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