A closer look at US District Court Judge Lucy Koh

Fri, Jul 20, 2012

Legal, News

As Samsung and Apple head into the homestretch before their long-anticipated trial begins next week, the lady calling the shots will be US District Court Judge Lucy Koh.

Having followed Samsung and Apple’s legal proceedings for a few months now, it’s clear that Koh has a solid grasp on the issues and delivers rulings based on a careful and complete consideration of the facts. In short, she’s not a fangirl of either company.

Recently, the Washington Post profiled Koh and gave us a bit of background on the woman who will be overseeing the Apple and Samsung legal circus at the end of July.

She is an expert on intellectual-property law, having practiced patent litigation for about a decade in private practice. In 2006, as a lawyer at McDermott Will & Emery, she represented Creative Technology in a federal suit accusing Apple of infringing patents with its iPod music player. Apple countersued but ended up paying Creative $100 million for licensing fees.

On the other hand, she is a rookie judge who was appointed by President Obama in 2010. In just one year, she has taken on hundreds of cases, and she now grapples with the massive attention the tablet and smartphone patent suits have drawn from the captains of the high-tech industry.

Notably, Koh recently rejected an Apple motion that sought to heap the recently released Galaxy S III with the preliminary injunction that covers the Galaxy Nexus, her reasoning being that her caseload was already cumbersome enough.

Described as an extremely hard worker prone to working long hours – even on weekends – Koh has been known to cut vacations short in order to get back to work.

Lastly, a profile on Koh from the Institute of Corean-American studies adds:

She received an award from then FBI Director Louis J. Freeh for prosecuting a $54 million securities fraud case. Lucy also worked in several positions in Washington, D.C., including as Special Assistant to the United States Deputy Attorney General and as a United States Senate Judiciary Committee Fellow. Lucy received her undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard. She is married and has two children.



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