Last week’s post, Lab Notebooks & The Strange Tale of Amr Mohsen, Part I, began a tale of bad patent litigation, forensic ink testing, mysteriously disappearing/reappearing lab notebooks and engineers gone bad. As last week’s post noted, Mohsen/Aptix’s ‘069 patent- at issue in the case- was ultimately found unenforceable.
But the story was far from over…
Judge Alsup issued his decision on QuickTurn’s motion for terminating sanctions in June of 2000. In the 2000 decision, the Court found ‘clear and convincing’ evidence that Mohsen had defrauded the Court and defendant QuickTurn. But Judge Alsup clarified that Mohsen’s fraudulent additions to his lab notebook were only the smaller part of his fraud upon the Court. The bigger fraud, Judge Alsup explained, was Mohsen’s claim to an earlier invention date, which was fourteen months before the actual filing date of the ‘069 patent.
Shortly thereafter, Judge Alsup referred his findings in the case to federal prosecutors to investigate Mohsen and his brother (Aly Mohsen) for perjury and falsifying evidence. As a result, in March 2003, a federal Grand Jury indicted the Mohsen brothers for obstruction of justice. The criminal trial was set for March 2004. Shortly before the trial date, the FBI arrested Amr Mohsen for violating his bail agreement. At the time of his arrest, Amr Mohsen was allegedly carrying a newly issued Egyptian passport and $20,000 in cash.
After his arrest, Mohsen was sent to Santa Rita jail in Dublin, California. It was there that Mohsen approached another inmate, allegedly to arrange a hit on District Court Judge Alsup. The inmate, however, was an FBI informant and his conversation with Mohsen had been taped (click here to view the FBI’s search warrant to search Mohsen’s jail cell, link courtesy of Tommyjournal.com). Mohsen allegedly also tried to have the informant intimidate witnesses to prevent them for testifying at Mohsen’s criminal trial. In July of that same year (2004), a Grand Jury indicted Mohsen for soliciting another to commit murder and other criminal counts.
In 2006, the jury found Mohsen guilty on all but one of the counts, including conspiracy to commit arson, perjury and attempted witness tampering. The only silver lining for Mohsen was that the jury ultimately found him not guilty of conspiracy to murder Judge Alsup. Nonetheless, in January 2007 Mohsen was sentenced to seventeen years in prison. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and sentencing in November 2009.
Oddly enough, Amr Moshen (or his family) still maintains a web page (view it here) with his biography and “achievements”. The achievements page claims that Mohsen developed the industry’s first 64k CCD (charge-coupled device) memory and that he “led development” of the industry’s first CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) 256k DRAM (dynamic random access memory) at Intel.
Although Mohsen remains incarcerated (in Safford Arizona), he apparently is still fighting his conviction and other issues related to his conditions of incarceration. Most recently, he filed a case seeking review of the prison’s order denying his request for a transfer to a lower security setting. Although, at his sentencing, it was reported that Mohsen expressed some remorse for the pain he had caused to others, reading the allegations in his post-conviction court filings belie any apparent remorse or indication that Mohsen has taken responsibility for his actions.
Unfortunately too, Mohsen’s case has also been used as a divisive tool. For example, in 2011 The Muslim Legal Fund of America began posting ads about Mohsen’s case, claiming that Mohsen was “unlawfully arrested” and put through an “unfair Islamophobic trial in post 9/11 hysteria.”
Mohsen’s sentence makes him eligible for release on January 16, 2019.