The judge in a massive smartphone patent case reprimanded Samsung for releasing excluded evidence on Friday but rejected a bid by Apple to order a verdict in the case.
Judge Lucy Koh expressed irritation with Samsung's releasing to the media of documents she had ruled were not to be viewed by the jury in the case over patent infringement involving the iPhone and other mobile devices.
Koh said Samsung lawyers "were on notice that the possibility of a jury taint was real," and scolded them for "a willful attempt to propagate that evidence they knew had been excluded."
But she rejected Apple's request for additional sanctions or to order a verdict in favor of the Silicon Valley firm.
She polled the jurors, asking if they had read any press coverage. One said he read a headline online, but did not read any articles. The others said they had read nothing.
"I will not let any theatrics or sideshows distract us from what we are here to do which is to fairly hear this case," said Koh.
Apple said in court documents released Thursday that "Samsung and its counsel have engaged in bad faith litigation misconduct by attempting to prejudice the jury" by releasing documents suggesting Samsung was working on its own smartphone before the iPhone was released.
"Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design... in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone," said the statement from the South Korean firm.
Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Philip Schiller, was set to testify Friday.
Jurors on Tuesday began hearing the biggest US patent trial in decades, with billions at stake for the tech giants.
Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion in a case accusing the South Korean firm of infringing on designs and other patents from the iPhone and iPad maker.
This is one of several cases in courts around the world involving the two electronics giants in the hottest part of the tech sector -- tablet computers and smartphones.
While the results so far have been mixed in courts in Europe and Australia, Samsung is clearly on the defensive in the US case.
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