As the latest patent dispute between Apple and Samsung kicked off in court today, the search for unbiased jury members to serve with Judge Koh began today resulting in a standing room-only environment in the court room with over 100 potential jurors summoned.
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While the process begins with a number of prospective jurors, the first day is meant to dismiss those with a preconceived bias against either party involved for any reason.
If today’s reporting from several different case watchers is any indication, finding an unbiased jury without any connection to Apple, Samsung, or Google in California is easier said than done.
The first few potential jurors to be dismissed expressed that they had skin in the game…
First potential juror is excused. She is an admin at a law firm that does work for Apple. She said "giants must be wrestling" #iCourt— Daisuke Wakabayashi (@daiwaka) March 31, 2014
The next subject of focus was an iPad-toting LinkedIn engineer that thinks both companies abuse patents. He stayed… for now.
LinkedIn engineer shockingly is not dismissed. As he walks to another room to wait, Koh asks if what he's holding is an iPad. It is. #iCourt— Shara Tibken (@sharatibken) March 31, 2014
Apple's Bill Lee and Samsung's John Quinn unite to nix LinkedIn engineer. Koh overrules. Guess she liked his ruminations on patents. #icourt— Julia Love (@byJuliaLove) March 31, 2014
Following the LinkedIn engineer was a Cupertino native. Samsung’s representative wasn’t pleased, but Judge Koh saw it acceptable.
Samsung's Quinn tries to excuse a prospective juror who grew up in Cupertino and is fond of Apple. Koh overrules. #icourt— Julia Love (@byJuliaLove) March 31, 2014
Now more potential jurors with connections to tech companies…
Another potential juror dismissed. He's a an exec at a mobile startup. Was in Korea last week looking for business from Samsung. #iCourt— Daisuke Wakabayashi (@daiwaka) March 31, 2014
Juror owns over 1K shares of Apple. Koh: "So if Apple wins, your shares will increase?" Juror: "I hope so!" #iCourt And he's excused.— Mike Swift (@Swiftstories) March 31, 2014
Prospective juror from Microsoft says he's never used Android phone. He had an iPhone in the past. He's rocking sweet flip-flops. #icourt— Daisuke Wakabayashi (@daiwaka) March 31, 2014
…and someone with a relative working on a secret project at Google? Tell me more!
Koh presses a prospective juror for details on what her nephew does for Google. “It’s a secret. He won’t tell.” #icourt— Julia Love (@byJuliaLove) March 31, 2014
Finally, potential jurors with stock in either company were dismissed. Why did they have to wait all afternoon?
That included the iPad-carrying LinkedIn engineer.
Prospective juror really wants out. Says has affinity for Apple, knows one of lawyers, and now, friend's dad works at Apple. #icourt— Daisuke Wakabayashi (@daiwaka) March 31, 2014
And with that, we’re down to about 25 prospective jurors. The court must choose 10 before the trial can begin. We’ll keep an eye on this space, of course, and share any fascinating developments along the way.