The legal battles of Samsung and Apple has dominated tech journalism this year. These companies have sued each other around the world in various courts. Apple is firmly of the view that Samsung’s products violate its design and software patents. The courts agree with Apple to an extent, so much so that Apple has been able to score numerous injunctions against Samsung products in different countries. The trial is going to begin later this month and in its pre-hearing brief, Apple has clearly stated that it wants Samsung to fork over $2.5 billion in damages.
It should be kept in mind that the trial can go both ways. Samsung might end up having to pay nothing at all. Just because Apple wants $2.5 billion in damages, does not mean that Samsung will have to pay it. On the other hand, if the trial goes south for Samsung, then it just might have to pay up as well as remove the infringing software and design details. Samsung’s counsel will definitely go against the $2.5 billion and $30 per device damage numbers. Rest assured, this will be a court trial worth following.
Apple claims that Samsung has been unjustly enriched due to its willful infringement of Apple patents. This “enrichment” is valued at $2 billion by Apple. The company further states in its pre-hearing brief that infringement on Samsung’s part has cost Apple $500 million in lost profits. Both these figures combined make up the $2.5 billion Apple is asking in damages. That is not all though. Pending the result of trial, these figures might go up meaning that this whole dilemma could cost Samsung upwards of $3 billion.
The software patents Apple thinks Samsung has infringed upon will cost the Korean manufacturer as well. Apple demands $2.02 for the tap to zoom and navigate, $2.02 per unit for the over scroll bounce and $3.10 for scrolling API. The company also seeks $24 per unit for usage of Apple design patents or trade dress rights. Samsung will also have to rectify these infringements if it loses in court, notwithstanding the obligation to pay Apple the damages that it has demanded.
Like I said before, this is going to be a trial worth watching. Court ordered meetings between Samsung Vice Chairman and Apple CEO have failed to bring both companies to a mutual agreement. If Samsung sees that it does not stand a chance against Apple in trial, there exists a major possibility that it would push for an out of court settlement. In that event, Apple just might bring down the damages number to a certain extent. Lets wait and watch how this drama unfolds.