That $100 million may very well turn out to be wishful thinking as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) believes that it should be compensated in the amount of $2.2 billion for what it believes was a blatant theft of Apple patents by the Korean electronics giant.
So far, Samsung has implemented a defense strategy of “we haven’t infringed on anything,” and then as a safety net, “If our phones do infringe on patents..well, that’s Google’s fault. Lastly, Samsung is arguing that the worth of the patents they didn’t, or Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) did in infringe on, are not worth anything near what Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) says that they are worth.
Not surprisingly, that’s not how Apple sees it. They claim that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) blatantly copied the iPhone due to its game changing nature, and that Samsung had nothing that they were working on to rival the iPhone so they simply copied it.
Apple’s lawyer asks a question
“Where was Samsung before the iPhone? You know the answer to that one. They didn’t even have a smartphone,” said Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny. At the end of the day, he does have a fairly strong point there by simply stating the truth. McElhinny then addressed the $2.2 billion that the company is seeking, a number that for many seems quite arbitrary. The lawyer believes that because Samsung was well on its way to copying numerous aspects of the iPhone, it left Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) unable to fight them. Apple argues that it could have charged Samsung nearly anything it wanted to license its patents to Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and that the case needs a significant financial penalty to prevent this behavior in the future.
A potential hurdle for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to receive a favorable ruling is the fact that in a recent case against Motorola the definition of a patent term was reopened. Apple has a patent which uses an “analyzer server” for the detection and linking of dates and phone numbers in emails and SMS messages. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) has argued that its handsets don’t use this server, but rather the software in its phones does this job. As a result, Samsung has argued that the patent doesn’t apply.
The jury’s job
Of course, these two will always be arguing and the final decision including compensation will rest with a jury as they are forced to navigate a field of landmines built of minutiae, and pages of details to decide what devices infringed on Apple’s patents.
In the first patent case between the rivals, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seemed to win but that win was made smaller and smaller over time as the judgement was reduced. Initially, Apple was awarded $1 billion but that was nearly halved by a judge cutting $450 million from that number and ordered a retrial to once again look at damages. At the end of the day, Apple was awarded $930 million in the case.
That won’t come out of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s pocket if a similar judgement is made in this case. Without the full details, it’s understood that Google has already agreed to pay all or most of any judgement given to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).