SAN JOSE (CBS 5) — It appears Apple Inc. can thank an electrical engineer who was elected jury foreman for the $1.049 billion patent infringement verdict delivered last week against smartphone-producing rival Samsung Electronics.

Velvin Hogan, who has defended some of his own patents in the past, told CBS 5 he was watching a movie when he had what he described as a “light bulb moment” – a revelation that would turn the case.

“I was watching a movie, but I was thinking about this and all the claims, one in particular, and I thought to myself, I can defend this. Then I thought, if I can defend this patent, as though it were my own, then I need to go back and tell my fellow jurors about this,” he explained. “I knew if I could defend this like it was mine, then I needed to look at the others.”

Hogan said it was at that very moment that $1 billion “went from left to right,” so to speak.

“Yes, it did, it did,” he recounted in an interview on Sunday evening.

Hogan then went about guiding his fellow jurors – an eclectic mix that included two engineers, a young rock music enthusiast, a Navy veteran, bike shop manager and a homemaker – through the herculean task of deciding who owned what in this battle of technology titans.

The outcome was what another juror described as a “mind-boggling” amount of damages that they decided to award Apple.

Manuel Ilgan, an electrical engineer, said the enormity of their decision hit him when he was using a calculator to tally up the award total for Apple.

“So, I was doing the calculation, I was adding it up, It was about 22 items, if I’m not mistaken, I hit the equal sign, ‘Holy Smokes’ I was surprised,” Ilgan told CBS 5. “It was 1.049. So one billion, 49 million. It was mind-boggling for me, we came up with that number.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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