Anyone following the tech blogging world over the past couple of years will be aware of the various court cases involving the two biggest tech companies on the planet. Apple vs. Samsung has found its way in to so many headlines, and in so many different countries, that it’s bordered on the ridiculous at times. But one case in particular has been the biggest of them all.
Last year, a jury in San Jose found Samsung guilty of infringing on a number of Apple patents, and awarded Cupertino over $1 billion in damages. It was a vast figure, one which drew strong opinions from all avenues. That wasn’t the end of it however. Samsung tried to get it thrown out based on one juror’s previous connection with a Samsung-owned company. It failed. But, Koh – in a separate session in court back in March – determined that a portion of the $1 billion damages was calculated incorrectly/unfairly in Apple’s favor.
To clear up a little confusion: I’ve seen a lot of different articles on various sites claiming that Apple’s award was dropped to $400 million. It wasn’t. Cupertino was still guaranteed around $600 million, but infringement damages amounting to around $400-$450 million were up for re-trial. That is the trial going on right now.
The case has gone on, and – according to FOSS Patents – both companies are showing signs of humility and grace, despite disagreeing on the final award. As we read earlier in the week, Samsung’s legal team openly admitted that the company copied. At this point, denying it would almost certainly turn the jury against them. And the two companies are due for talks over settlement in January next year.
Today, it was revealed that the two companies are miles apart on where they believe the final figure should lie. Apple believes its still owed an extra $380 million. Just $30 million short of the $410 million that’s being contested. Samsung? $52 million. A much more conservative figure. And understandable too. It knows it already owes over $600 million. Anything more is a serious dent.
Phil Schiller took the stand today, and recalled the great effort it took to create the iPhone. As has already been determined independently, the iPhone was not just the next logical step forward. It was a breakthrough product that changed the face of the smartphone market. According to Schiller’s testimony, it was a “bet the company product.” Money, time, emotions, everything went in to creating the first iPhone. It was a huge gamble. He moved on to say that currently, almost everyone at Apple works on the iPhone in some capacity.
The rest of today’s session is being used mostly to get opinion on exactly how much more Samsung owes Apple. As reported by CNET:
“The bulk of the session Thursday included questioning of Julie Davis, an expert accountant hired by Apple to determine just how much Samsung owes the company for infringing on its patents. She testified that Apple lost sales due to Samsung’s infringing devices. But even if the jury decides Apple didn’t lose a single sale because of Samsung infringement, damages should be $287 million, Davis said.”
This is far from over, and it’ll take a little while longer for Apple to get the damages owed by Samsung for copying its patents. But, at least it seems to be calming down a little now.