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SAN JOSE, Calif. — So far one of the biggest problems for a federal judge overseeing a patent battle between the world’s largest smartphone makers isn’t about stolen ideas. It’s getting the roomful of smartphone devotees to turn off their devices.
US District Judge Lucy Koh has become increasingly frustrated during the first few days of the trial pitting Apple against Samsung because the many personal Wi-Fi signals interfere with a network the judge relies on for a real-time transcript of the proceedings.
The phones also ring, buzz and jingle, and can be used to take photos, a serious violation of court rules.
In the first five days of trial, Koh has interrupted testimony with a sharp ‘‘Phones off!’’ She’s warned she might force everyone to hand over their phones. She’s threatened to send everyone, except a select few, into an overflow room. And she has shamed those with phones turned on to ‘‘Stand up!’’ — which a few sheepishly did.