The judge presiding over a major lawsuit brought by Apple against Samsung is losing her patience with lawyers and executives who refuse to turn off their handheld devices in court. Why are we not surprised?
According to the Associated Press, the wi-fi signals of multiple phones and devices are interfering with the network the court uses to transcribe proceedings. Buzzing, ringing and other types of noise-making sounds disrupt proceedings, and photo-taking capabilities breach strict court-room laws. Also, it's rude.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh and other officials have taken to elementary tactics to deal with the situation, per the AP:
In the first five days of trial, Koh has interrupted testimony with a sharp "Phones off!" She's warned she might force everyone to hand over their phones. She's threatened to send everyone, except a select few, into an overflow room. And she's shamed those with phones turned on to "Stand up!" — which a few sheepishly did.
Even Apple's attorney was acting out:
[On Tuesday] before the judge or jury had entered the courtroom, unusual shouts of "hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!" rang out as Apple attorney William Lee pointed at Wharton School marketing professor David Reibstein, who was taking photos from the spectator rows. Reibstein was escorted out, questioned by a marshal and required to erase the photos.
For some reason, the AP asked Uma Thurman's father Robert, a religious studies professor at Columbia University, what he thinks about the trial travails. "It's a case of connection addiction," he said, pun intended, presumably. He recommends "contemplative therapy."
The two tech giants are still at odds over a major patent dispute, with Apple seeking $2.2 billion from its rival for allegedly infringing on five patented technologies, including the "slide to unlock" feature, data synchronization, spotlight search, link to date and times in text messages, and autocomplete. The trial marks another in a series of legal spats over proprietary technology between the two companies, and drew the attention of experts, reporters and attorneys, who have packed the courtroom, tooling around with the very phones that are being put on trial. All that's left is to decide which company deserves all the credit for allowing others commit contempt of court.
SMH, smartphone trial people.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.