Why are there juries in the patent litigation cases in the U.S.? There was a jury in the Samsung v Apple case, and I recall that none of the jury had an expertise in patent law. Is there some kind of political reason why the U.S. government decided to have jury in those court cases instead of relying on a group of judges instead?

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    Being on a jury does not require any particular expertise. Indeed, it's my impression that having expertise in the subject of the trial is a sure way to get youself disqualified. (I'm not a lawyer, though.)
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jun 26, 2021 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


The Seventh Amendment to the US Constitution says, in its entirety,

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Patent lawsuits are for far more than twenty dollars, and for far more than twenty 1792 dollars (which would be $560 today). (There is no mention of inflation in the Seventh Amendment, so any lawsuit over twenty dollars entitles one to a trial by jury.) Either party in a patent lawsuit can ask for a jury trial per the Seventh Amendment.

Some claim there is an implied complexity exception to the Seventh Amendment. Others claim that this is not the case.

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