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Samsung says Apple overestimates patent damages

updated 06:05 pm EDT, Thu August 16, 2012

Samsung says Apple estimate five times too high

Today in court Samsung entered its own dramatically lower estimate of the damages Apple would have suffered from Samsung's alleged infringement of the iPhone maker's design patents. The South Korean electronics maker said Apple made a number of faulty guesses in calculating its damage estimate, including its figure for Samsung's profit margin. As Reuters detailed today, Samsung's own figure puts Apple's potential damages at around one-fifth of Apple's $2.5 billion figure.

Samsung says that Apple overestimated Samsung's profit margin, attributing a 35.5 percent margin from mid-2010 through March 2012 where Samsung claims it made 12 percent across a time frame half as long. On Samsung's $8.16 billion in revenue, Apple claims it is entitled to $2.5 billion in damages overall, but Samsung puts that figure at around $519 million.

The figure is important because, in a patent infringement case, the defendant can be made to forfeit all of its profits on offending devices if it is found to have violated design patents.

The difference in infringement price tags isn't the only disagreement between the two companies. Apple has also complained that Samsung has produced nine different versions of its financials during the evidence gathering process. Samsung has owned up to that charge; but in its defense, the South Korean company claims that it had not had sufficient time to accomplish the sizable task of poring over Samsung's financial data in such detail.

Apple also complained that Samsung had specifically prepared a financial estimate in response to Apple's litigation. Samsung's witness acknowledged this claim as well, but countered that the company has never had to break out such specific financial data before.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. LenE

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-19-04

    Profit margin has no bearing on patent royalties.

    Triple damages are based on non-payed royalties. It isn't Apple's fault if Samsung has low margins. The royalty sought was a fee per device, not a percentage of profit.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    You are absolutely correct. Likewise, the amount you think you should receive has no bearing on the judge's decision. Oracle though it could extort 6 billion from Google because they thought they "deserved" it for the "damage" Android inflicted. They ended up with a large legal bill instead. Apple's initial numbers are equally ludicrous.

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