Ap­ple wants $1 bil­lion in dam­ages from ri­val Sam­sung over patents

Ottawa Citizen - - FINANCIAL POST - JOEL ROSENBLATT

Ap­ple is seek­ing about US$1 bil­lion from Sam­sung in another go-round stem­ming from a lon­grun­ning smart­phone patent-in­fringe­ment dis­pute.

Jurors at the re­trial be­fore U.S. Dis­trict Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., learned at the out­set that the South Korean com­pany in­fringed three of Ap­ple’s de­sign patents and two util­ity patents. Their sole job, Ap­ple lawyer Bill Lee said, is to de­ter­mine what dam­ages Ap­ple can col­lect.

The ba­sic ques­tion for the jury is: Should Sam­sung have to pay dam­ages on the whole de­vice or just the com­po­nents that were in­fringed? Sam­sung says the lat­ter — and is urg­ing the jury to limit dam­ages to US$28 mil­lion.

“Law­suits can take a long time,” Lee told jurors Tues­day. He asked them to “step back in time” to 2006 to con­sider flip phones, slid­ers, and what other cell­phones looked like be­fore Ap­ple’s iPhone.

Sam­sung made US$3.3 bil­lion in rev­enue and US$1 bil­lion in profit from mil­lions of phones that in­fringed Ap­ple’s three de­sign patents, Lee said. That’s apart from prof­its Sam­sung made from in­fring­ing two of Ap­ple’s util­ity patents, Lee said.

A US$1.05-bil­lion jury ver­dict from 2012 has been whit­tled down by a pre­vi­ous re­trial in 2013, along with ap­peals and ad­just­ments. After Sam­sung agreed to pay some dam­ages, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 and was re­turned to Koh with an or­der to revisit a US$399-mil­lion por­tion of dam­ages.

With­out men­tion­ing the Supreme Court’s rul­ing ex­plic­itly, Sam­sung lawyer John Quinn em­pha­sized the de­ci­sion af­fords the com­pany to ar­gue dam­ages should be based on the prof­its it made off the spe­cific com­po­nents that were found to in­fringe Ap­ple patents — rather than the en­tire de­vice.

Quinn told jurors to main­tain an “open mind” and re­sist Ap­ple’s cast­ing South Korean com­pany as be­ing “mired” in old phone mod­els un­til it copied Ap­ple. The scope of Ap­ple’s de­sign patents “are so very nar­row” he said.

“They’re seek­ing prof­its on the en­tire phone,” he said. But Ap­ple’s patents “do not cover the en­tire phone,” Quinn said, adding that they are en­ti­tled only to the prof­its of the in­fring­ing com­po­nents, and “not on any­thing that’s in­side the phone.”

JOSE SANCHEZ/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS/ FILE MARCIO

The patent in­fringe­ment bat­tle be­tween Ap­ple and Sam­sung has re­sumed in a Cal­i­for­nia court­room after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that a U.S. Dis­trict Court must revisit a US$399-mil­lion dam­age award.

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