SAN JOSE -- Apple and Samsung on Monday picked an eclectic federal court jury to consider their epic patent showdown in the smartphone wars, for the most part steering clear of a slew of engineer and tech types in the Silicon Valley jury pool.
The two feuding companies are now set to present their opening statements Tuesday morning, with Apple likely to offer up its first witnesses by the end of the day. An Apple designer is expected to be the first witness.
The four-week trial will give the jury a chance to consider Apple's allegations that Samsung "slavishly" copied its iPhone and iPod products in its line of smartphones and tablets. Apple plans to seek a record $2.5 billion in damages.
Samsung has denied copying Apple's popular iPhones and iPads as it surpassed the Cupertino-based company in the worldwide smartphone market and pressed Apple in the competition for tablet sales. South Korea-based Samsung has countersued Apple, alleging that it has violated some of its central patent rights in Apple products.
During a painstaking day of jury selection, Apple and Samsung lawyers screened the jury pool, which originally was heavy on valley tech workers, some of whom had patents of their own, from companies such as Applied Materials and Google. By the time the jury was chosen, the two companies opted to bump most of those types off the seven-man, three-woman panel.
Some appeared destined to be ditched from the jury, notably a
Apple lawyers tried to bump the juror for "cause," saying he was presumed biased, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh refused. Apple then used one of its challenges to send the juror home.
In the end, the jury included a Gilroy city worker, a social worker, an AT&T supervisor, a mechanical engineer and an unemployed video gamer who told the courtroom he wants to gain a software degree so he can develop video games.
The judge grilled the jury pool on everything from which smartphones they prefer (a variety, but many people said they don't want one) to their social media habits. Apple and Samsung were not big favorites, although more potential jurors had iPhones and iPads than Samsung's Galaxy products (some had both).
One fact emerged: The judge may not have to worry too much about jurors tweeting and Facebooking on the trial, a growing worry in the legal system. The potential jurors generally were not big fans of Facebook, Twitter or social media in general.