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Juror misconduct accusations in Apple vs Samsung trial to be probed

A California judge has agreed to review a Samsung complaint that accused the jury foreman of misconduct in its recent patent trial against Apple.

Judge Lucy Koh said yesterday that she will "address" Samsung's motion at a 6 December hearing.

"The Court will consider the questions of whether the jury foreperson concealed information during voir dire, whether any concealed information was material, and whether any concealment constituted misconduct," Judge Koh wrote in her order. "An assessment of such issues is intertwined with the question of whether and when Apple had a duty to disclose the circumstances and timing of its discovery of information about the foreperson."

In early October, Samsung requested a new patent trial against Apple due to juror misconduct, among other things.

According to Samsung, jury foreman Velvin Hogan "failed to answer truthfully" during jury selection. When asked if he or someone close to him had ever been involved in a lawsuit, Hogan recalled one such suit, but failed to mention two others, Samsung said. That included a suit his former employer, Seagate, brought against Hogan for breach of contract, as well as a personal bankruptcy filing.

Seagate has a "substantial strategic relationship" with Samsung, the company said. Furthermore, the attorney who sued Hogan on Seagate's behalf is a partner with Quinn Emanual, Samsung's law firm.

"Hogan's failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in questioning and that would have triggered a motion to strike for cause or a peremptory strike," Samsung said.

Samsung also said Hogan withheld other details in order to secure a place on the jury.

Hogan has denied any wrongdoing.

The trial in question ended with the jury awarding Apple $1.05 billion (£650 million) in patent damages. Samsung has appealed.