Longtime frenemies Samsung and Apple are back in court after a hiatus of several months. The new trial does not question Samsung’s culpability in infringing on Apple’s patents but instead revolves on how much Samsung really has to pay in damages.
According to Apple legal counsel Harold McElhinny, that amount is a staggering $379.8 million. This is to cover all five patents that Samsung has been found to infringe on, including the now iconic pinch to zoom gesture. Samsung was originally ordered to cough up $1 billion last year, but in March this year, US District Judge Lucy Koh said that the jury erred on calculating part of the damages, ordering the two companies to go back to trial in order to argue on the actual amount. The disputed portion that Koh struck off was $400 million, quite close to the amount that Apple is now demanding.
For its part, Samsung’s lawyer William Price is saying that this is quite a hefty price to pay. Instead, according to him, the Korean company only owes Apple $52.7 million. Price argues that the gigantic amount Apple is asking for covers all 13 of the Samsung products found to have violated Apple’s patents. Furthermore, even $52 million is already a heavy amount even for Samsung, says Price. That argument might be a hard sell if one considers Apple’s testimony that Samsung made off with $3.5 billion in revenue for selling 10.7 million units of those infringing smartphones.
This is just the opening salvo of the trial that is taking place at the San Jose, California US District Court. The back and forth bickering is expected to continue for a week, to be followed by some rather serious jury deliberation.