Apple on Thursday asked U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to impose a "severe penalty" on Samsung for allegedly trying to taint the jury by deliberately sending out material excluded from the trial that Samsung considers important to its claim that it did not infringe on Apple patents.
Considered a long shot by legal experts, Apple's legal maneuver is aimed squarely at prominent lawyer John Quinn, lead partner in the law firm defending Samsung.
"The proper remedy for Samsung's misconduct is judgment that Apple's asserted phone design patents are valid and infringed," Apple wrote in court papers. "It would be, to be sure, a significant sanction. But serious misconduct can only be cured through a serious sanction."
The dispute stems from Quinn's attempt earlier this week to persuade Koh to revisit her decision barring certain Samsung evidence that the South Korean company argues proves it did not copy the iPhone. Outside the jury's presence, Koh angrily rebuked Quinn, who later that day authorized a Samsung news release decrying the rulings.
Apple has now tried to exploit that
The judge has repeatedly instructed the jury not to read any media accounts or scan social media for information on the case, a typical warning in all cases.
Quinn has defended his actions, saying Samsung had a right to state its position publicly and release documents that are already in the public record.
Meanwhile, Apple is set to resume putting its witnesses on the stand Friday. The first witness will be Philip Schiller, a chief marketing executive, who will be followed by Scott Forstall, a senior software executive for Apple.
Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz