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US judge scolds Samsung, trial to proceed

Sat August 4, 2012 12:01pm

THE judge in a massive smartphone patent dispute has reprimanded Samsung for releasing excluded evidence but denied a bid by Apple to order a verdict in the case.

Judge Lucy Koh expressed irritation with Samsung's release to the media of documents she had ruled were not to be viewed by the jury in the trial over patent infringement involving the iPhone and other mobile devices.

Koh said Samsung lawyers "were on notice that the possibility of a jury taint was real," and scolded them for "a wilful attempt to propagate that evidence they knew had been excluded."

But she rejected Apple's request for additional sanctions or to order a verdict in favour of the Silicon Valley firm.

She polled the jurors, asking if they had read any press coverage. One said he read a headline online, but did not read any articles. The others said they had read nothing.

"I will not let any theatrics or sideshows distract us from what we are here to do, which is to fairly hear this case," said Koh.

Apple said in court documents released Thursday that "Samsung and its counsel have engaged in bad faith litigation misconduct by attempting to prejudice the jury" by releasing documents suggesting Samsung was working on its own smartphone before the iPhone was released.

"Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design... in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone," said the statement from the South Korean firm.

As testimony resumed, Apple's senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, Philip Schiller, said he was stunned by copying undertaken by the South Korean electronics giant.

Schiller said Apple had spent more than $US1 billion ($A960.29 million) marketing iPhones and iPads since 2008, in a campaign that presents the "product as a hero."

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