Samsung says it owes Apple USD 52 million
Smartphone industry looks at the court trials with ‘much interest’
San Jose: How much does Samsung Electronics owe Apple for copying vital features of the iPhone and iPad? Apple says USD 380 million. Samsung counters with USD 52 million. It’s possible a jury presiding over a patent trial in a San Jose courtroom will find somewhere in between.
The first day of testimony in the trial got under way yesterday. At issue are 13 devices made by the South Korea-based company that another jury decided infringed Apple patents for technology. The products allow scrolling and the “bounce-back” function at the end of documents, among other inventions.
That previous jury awarded Apple USD 1.05 billion after determining 26 Samsung products had infringed six Apple patents. But a judge found the jury miscalculated USD 400 million in damages for 13 products and ordered a new trial to determine the proper amount.
“Apple lost sales because Samsung was selling infringing products,” Apple attorney Harold McIlhenny told the jury during opening statements. He argued that Apple’s lost profits, Samsung’s profits on the offending devices and royalties owed Apple, add up to USD 380 million.
“In a fair fight, in a fair competition, the money they got would have and should have gone to Apple,” McIlhenny said. Samsung’s attorney Bill Price countered during his own opening statements that consumers preferred Samsung’s devices, which operate with Google’s Android system, because of the many differences rather than the similarities they have with Apple’s products.
Price told the jury that Samsung owes Apple USD 52 million. “Apple is simply asking for much more money than it’s entitled to,” Price said. Price readily conceded that Samsung was guilty of copying Apple’s features, but downplayed the significance of the technology in devices that are built with hundreds of patents each.
“This is a case not where we’re disputing that the 13 phones contain some elements of Apple’s property,” Price said. “That doesn’t mean Apple gets to come in here and ask for a windfall … for more than it is entitled.”
Apple called three expert witnesses and a company executive to discuss Apple’s patents yesterday before court ended for the day. The trial is expected to last into the middle of next week. The two companies are locked in legal battles around the globe for supremacy in the more than USD 300 billion smartphone market.