Apple argues for $2.2B in patent damages against Samsung, seeks sales ban

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) argued in court that it is due $2.19 billion in damages related to patent-infringement by Samsung Electronics in the smartphone titans' latest patent trial. However, a witness Apple called also indicated that Apple is pushing for a ban on the sale of older Samsung smartphones.

In testimony before U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., Christopher Vellturo, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate who has spent the past 12 years running consultancy Quantitative Economic Solutions, laid out Apple's damages case.

According to The Verge, Vellturo testified that he came to the $2.19 billion damages figure after his firm spent 4,000 to 5,000 hours of research, which included going through an "extraordinary amount of documents." Samsung's lawyers called Apple's request a "gross, gross exaggeration" that "vastly overrated the scope" of its patent claims, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The trial is now in the second of an expected four weeks. Each side gets 25 hours each to make their case. Samsung is only seeking around $6.9 million in damages on counter-claims.

During this trial, Apple hired an outside expert to poll consumers about their smartphone and tablet use because software features are in dispute in the patents. One survey polled 507 consumers about smartphones and another surveyed 459 customers about tablets. The surveys were conducted by MIT professor John Hauser, another Apple witness who Apple also called during its 2012 trial against Samsung. Apple tried to use the surveys to help put a value to the five patents it has accused Samsung of copying in its devices. Hauser said consumers who took the surveys would be willing to spend anywhere between $32 to $102 for certain features like universal search, automatic word correction and sliding to unlock.

It likely will be tough for Apple to get a sales ban against Samsung after losing two similar requests before Koh following the companies' first trial in 2012. As Bloomberg notes, Hauser's testimony on the surveys was meant to address Koh's finding in March that Apple failed to show in its earlier sales ban requests how its patented smartphone features drive consumer demand for the allegedly infringing Samsung products.

"The features associated with the patents have a measurable impact on consumer demand," Hauser testified.

However, according to Re/code, on Tuesday Samsung attorneys pushed back hard against Hauser's testimony, arguing his surveys did not  factor in the value of Samsung's brand, the Android operating system or other key features of the phones.

One of Samsung's lawyers, Bill Price, argued that Hauser's surveys overstated what customers would lose if they were not able to use Apple's patented technology.

Price noted that in Hauser's surveys, the alternative to Apple's automatic word correction patent was to have to choose from among suggestions. According to Re/code, Price then demonstrated how a Galaxy S III--which is not accused of infringing on that patent--could automatically correct the misspelled word "birfday" to "birthday" without infringing on Apple's patent.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Re/code article
- see this separate Re/code article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this The Verge article
- see this CNET article

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