updated 07:00 pm EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Samsung begins its defense, downplays Apple patents, losses
Apple's presentation to the jury in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial is over, with attorneys for the iPhone maker resting their case as expected on Friday following the completion of damages expert Christopher Vellturo's detailed explanation of why Apple is asking for $2.191 billion in total from Samsung. Apple had one final witness on its list, but decided against calling him following Vellturo's testimony. Samsung has already begun its presentation, which seeks to minimize the value of Apple's royalties and calls the damages estimate "grossly inflated."
Interestingly for this latest trial, Samsung has (thus far) largely avoided any claims that it didn't copy Apple's patents, instead relying on a three-pronged defense: that Apple's beef is really with Google and its Android platform, with Samsung as a scapegoat; that the features Samsung copied didn't drive demand specifically (a strategy that is playing to Judge Koh's tendency to set a very high bar for sales injunctions); and that Apple's patents aren't actually valid (in some cases) or worth as much as the company is claiming (in others).
Vellturo, in outlining how he arrived at the damages estimate for Apple, said that about a quarter of the total ($509 million) was due to lost profits Apple suffered during the initial set of infringements on the disputed patents and the timeframe from then until design-arounds were implemented. He added that this was based on the notion that at most, 10 percent of Samsung phone buyers would have instead bought an iPhone if Samsung had not copied the infringing features. A slightly higher amount, $559.6 million, was due to diminished demand for iPhones because Samsung's infringement made their products viable rivals, reports AppleInsider.
Finally, the "reasonable royalty" that Apple would have sought had it chosen to allow Samsung to license the features (these were not standards-essential patents, so Apple was never under any obligation to license them at all -- not that Samsung asked to do so) amounted, in Vellturo's reckoning, to $1.124 billion, based on more than 37 million infringing smartphones sold by Samsung during the contested period. The total is more than double the amount Apple asked for during the first patent trial (which covered different patents of different worth), and does not include any criminal penalties for Samsung's alleged copying -- if any are meted out, the amount will be decided by the jury or judge in the case.
Samsung began to present its counter-case to the jury following Apple's resting of its case and a lunch break. MacNN will have full coverage of the day's action and Samsung's presentation in our daily wrap-up of the ongoing trial later this evening.