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Jury selection delays start of Apple/Samsung patent showdown

'When did you last see your iPhone?'

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The jury has been picked for the forthcoming patent trial between Apple and Samsung to determine who has the rights to produce a rectangular fondleslab with rounded corners, among other things.

Tomorrow three women and seven men will hear opening statements in the case in San Jose's federal court. Jury selection took all day as US District Judge Lucy Koh questioned potential jurors on their views on Apple and its products, whether they owned any Apple or Samsung stock, and whether they'd read about the case beforehand. Some were keen to express an opinion.

"I have a thousand reasons to favor Apple, but I would try to be fair," said one potential juror, the LA Times reports. "We are an Apple kind of family," said another. A third simply admitted, "Honestly, I'm biased."

Honesty it may be, but it should be pointed out that jury service isn't popular over here, in common with many countries. The prospect of being one of a team of ten lucky people listening to patent law particulars while being paid a pittance is less than enthralling for many, even if a potential $2.525bn is at stake.

Several of those questioned said that they knew or had family members who worked for Apple, and the judge warned them not to have any contact with them if picked, up to and including social media messaging. Potential jurors were also asked to list what social media networks they were on.

Many of the jury pool owned either Samsung or Apple devices, with more than a few using LG hardware. One person didn't own a mobile phone, which in Silicon Valley might conceivably be viewed as evidence of mental oddness.

The legal eagles on both sides got 20 minutes to question jurors, and the final selection was only made at the close of the day's proceedings. With the jury empaneled, the opening arguments can begin in a trial that's expected to last around a month.

In a side action, IBM has sought a restraining order against a journalist from Reuters, who got hold of an unredacted piece of evidence regarding Big Blue's contractual arrangements with Samsung. Reuters has counterfiled, pointing out that the document in question was sent to it by one of IBM's legal team. ®

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