Apple lawyer faces 'smoking crack' jibe by patent judge

Drawing of Judge Koh and William Lee
Image caption Judge Koh became frustrated when Apple's lawyer suggested he could call 22 witnesses in four hours

The judge in a high profile US patent trial involving Apple and Samsung has said the iPhone maker's lawyer must be on drugs if he thought she would accept his list of potential witnesses.

William Lee had named 22 people he wanted to rebut testimony given by Samsung's choice of experts.

"Unless you're smoking crack you know these witnesses aren't going to be called" said Judge Lucy Koh.

Mr Lee replied: "Your honour, I'm not smoking crack. I can promise you that."

The clash, reported by the Verge news site, took place close to the end of the trial after Mr Lee presented a 75-page document detailing the witnesses.

The judge had previously made it clear she wanted closing arguments to be presented next week. She has given each side a maximum of 25 hours to make its case.

Of that time Apple has less than four hours of witness testimony remaining on its clock, and Mr Lee said he honestly believed he could cover all the people he had named within that period.

The move could potentially have made it harder for Samsung's legal team to prepare.

Disputed figures

Samsung called on damages expert Michael Wagner shortly before the exchange, who said Apple had overestimated Samsung's profit margins.

His evidence was intended to undermine the US firm's claim that it was owed $2.5bn (£1.6bn) in damages.

Under cross examination Mr Wagner acknowledged that his analysis had been based on data provided by Samsung as part of its response to Apple's patent infringement accusations.

In addition to denying the allegations the South Korean firm is also pursuing its rival for royalty payments. Its witnesses suggested it was owed as much as $421.8m.

Judge Koh's outburst is not the first time she has expressed anger at the two sides' behaviour in the case.

Earlier the judge chided Samsung's lawyer John Quinn for approving a press release which publicised evidence she had ruled inadmissible in court.

She had also demanded each legal team write out their legal arguments after they wrangled over whether a witness should be allowed to present certain evidence, saying: "I don't trust what any lawyer tells me in this courtroom. I want to see actual papers."

Despite the potential large payouts involved in the case the firms' share prices do not appear to have suffered.

Apple's stock has closed at a record high of $636.34 after rising 6.9% since the start of the trial.

Samsung's shares have gained 5.5% over the same period.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites