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Apple wants to milk some serious cash from Samsung in new patent suit

Published Mar 11th, 2014 2:14PM EDT
Apple vs Samsung Second Trial Damages

New documents uncovered by FOSS Patents reveals that Apple may be asking for as much as $40 per Samsung device found to be infringing on Apple’s patents that are in play in the second U.S. lawsuit between the two companies that’s set to start later this month. That works out to an average of $8 for each of the five Apple patens that are used against Samsung in this trial, “which relate to (but don’t even fully monopolize) the phone number tapping feature, unified search, data synchronization, slide-to-unlock, and autocomplete.” On the other hand, both parties had to cut the number of patent claims for the upcoming trial, with each side selecting its strongest ones for the trial.

Apparently a damages expert will argue for Apple that in hypothetical negotiations between the two, Samsung would have agreed to pay a $40 royalty per phone or tablet sold.

The number is somewhat similar to what Apple had proposed at a meeting with Samsung in 2010. However, Apple then asked a $30 royalty per smartphone and $40 per tablet unit, for its entire portfolio of patents, not just five patents. FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller explains that Apple and Nokia settled in 2011 for “the highest per-unit royalty estimate I heard about,” which was in the $10 range for Nokia’s entire standard essential patents (SEP) and non-SEPs, according to an analyst. Similarly, Microsoft is charging Android device makers $15 to $20 per unit for its whole patent portfolio.

Mueller also said that the 2.4% per unit royalty that Samsung would want for its SEP patents would amount to around to $12 for a $500 iPhone. The number would be a too high royalty for SEP patents – even though SEP patents may be more valuable than an “autocomplete” patent because they cover standard technologies, they can’t be monetized like non-SEP patents in such legal predicaments. For what it’s worth, Samsung has removed its SEP patents from this lawsuit, a move that follows similar action take in Europe – the company faces pressure from the EU for using SEP patents against Apple in the region.

“I can understand that Apple, almost three years after having filed its first lawsuit against Samsung, is disappointed with the fact that it has no enforceable remedies in place in the United States,” Mueller wrote. “But seeking out-of-this-world damages based on bizarre theories of what a hypothetical negotiation would result in is not the answer.”

In the first patent suit between the two, Apple asked $7.14 royalties for three patents. The total damages in the case amounted to close to a billion, after a retrial for a portion of the initial over $1 billion verdict.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.