With one 'dinosaur' and one BlackBerry owner, iCourt jury is selected

Apple gear was well-represented among the pool of prospective jurors

The federal courthouse in San Jose on the morning of March 31, 2014

The federal courthouse in San Jose on the morning of March 31, 2014

Lawyers for Apple and Samsung spent most of Monday selecting a 10-person jury for their latest patent infringement trial, and they're now set to make their opening arguments Tuesday morning.

The first of around 130 prospective jurors began arriving just before 7 a.m. at the federal courthouse in San Jose, California. They were asked about any links they might have to Apple, Samsung and Google, their experience serving on juries, their thoughts on the U.S. patent system, and about other issues that might influence their verdict.

The nature of the case meant the lawyers were interested in what electronics people owned. A jury pool from Silicon Valley might be expected to be a fairly tech-savvy group, but that wasn't always the case among the 26 people who remained seated before the lawyers by Monday afternoon.

A few hadn't upgraded from their flip phones and one person did not own a cellphone at all. Another, when asked what type of phone he and his wife owned, answered "Verizon" but couldn't specify beyond that.

"I'm kind of a dinosaur. I don't even know what an iPad is," he said.

One man said he owned a BlackBerry, issued by his company. But in a twist that could reveal much about BlackBerry's declining fortunes, he admitted he would have received a new iPhone Monday, had he been at work instead of in court.

Several people said they lived in all-Apple households with multiple iPhones, iPads and Macbooks -- surely pleasing the Apple officials seated in the front row. Indeed, iPhones were the most popular phone among the prospective jurors. Samsung might sell more smartphones than Apple, but few of the potential jurors owned them. Among the minority who had Android phones, Motorola was the winner.

It's the second case to come to trial in California between the two companies. In this one, Apple alleges that Samsung infringed five of its patents in 10 models of phones and tablets, while Samsung claims Apple infringed on two of its patents in nine phones and tablets.

Opening arguments are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The case will run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and is expected to end in late April, at which time the six women and four men who make up the jury will begin daily deliberations.

The case is Apple vs. Samsung, 12-00630, at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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Martyn Williams

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