Apple rests case vs. Samsung after expert makes pitch on damages

The company wrapped up its witness testimony after several experts and executives said Apple should receive $2.19 billion from Samsung.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
5 min read

Apple and Samsung are feuding over patents in a San Jose, Calif., courthouse. Shara Tibken/CNET

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Apple on Friday rested its patent-infringement suit against Samsung after an expert detailed the $2.19 billion in damages the company says it's due from Samsung.

Samsung will kick off its defense later Friday with Google Android executive Hiroshi Lockheimer taking the stand. The company also said it would call Dale Sohn, the former head of Samsung's US mobile business, as well as other Google Android executives such as Dianne Hackborn and Cary Clark. Attorneys for the Korean giant said the company may call 17 witnesses by the end of the day Monday, though many would be via deposition. Nevertheless, Judge Lucy Koh said the company had to narrow its list.

Christopher Vellturo, an economist and principal at consultancy Quantitative Economic Solutions, Friday continued his testimony from earlier in the week, saying Apple should receive about $2.191 billion in damages from Samsung for patent infringement. He noted the figure includes damages -- such as lost profits -- of $1.067 billion and reasonable royalties of $1.124 billion.

Vellturo on Tuesday had testified he determined the amount by evaluating the scale of the infringement, the time span, the head-to-head rivalry between Apple and Samsung, and the belief that the patents were key for making Samsung devices easier to use and more attractive to buyers. Samsung sold more than 37 million infringing devices, Vellturo said. The total amount of sales in dollars was kept confidential.

Samsung attorney John Quinn, meanwhile, on Friday disputed many of Vellturo's claims during cross examination. He tried to show that Samsung's meteoric rise in the smartphone market was because of factors such as 4G LTE, not Apple's patented technology. As one example, Quinn asked Vellturo why -- if Apple patents really attracted buyers -- the Galaxy Nexus, which Apple said infringed five patents, didn't sell as well as the Galaxy S3, which Apple said only infringed three.

Quinn also tried to raise doubts about Vellturo's expertise, getting the witness to admit several times that he's not a technical expert and that he relied on the calculations of marketing expert John Hauser as the basis for some damages estimates. Quinn argued that if Hauser's calculations are flawed, so are those by Vellturo.

Almost two years after Apple and Samsung faced off in a messy patent dispute, the smartphone and tablet rivals have returned to the same courtroom here to argue once again over patents before federal Judge Koh. Apple is arguing that Samsung infringed on five of its patents for the iPhone, its biggest moneymaker, and that Apple is due $2 billion for that infringement. Samsung wants about $7 million from Apple for infringing two of its software patents.

While the companies are asking for damages, the case is about more than money. What's really at stake is the market for mobile devices. Apple now gets two-thirds of its sales from the iPhone and iPad; South Korea-based Samsung is the world's largest maker of smartphones; and both want to keep dominating the market. So far, Apple is ahead when it comes to litigation in the US. Samsung has been ordered to pay the company about $930 million in damages.

Earlier Tuesday another expert hired by Apple, MIT marketing professor Hauser, argued that the company's patented features made Samsung's devices more appealing and that fewer people would have purchased the gadgets if the features were missing.

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Hauser and Vellturo are key to Apple's argument that it deserves about $2 billion in damages for Samsung's alleged infringement. The company argues that Samsung copied Apple's iPhone as it tried to figure out how to react and compete with the device. It realized it "simply did not have a product that could compete successfully against the iPhone," Apple attorneys said during opening arguments earlier this month. Samsung, however, argues that many of the patented items are features Google had earlier created for Android.

In the case, Apple and Samsung have accused each other of copying features used in their popular smartphones and tablets, and the jury will have to decide who actually infringed and how much money is due. This trial involves different patents and newer devices than the ones disputed at trial in August 2012 and in a damages retrial in November 2013. For instance, the new trial involves the iPhone 5 , released in September 2012, and Samsung's Galaxy S3 , which also debuted in 2012.

The latest trial kicked off March 31 with jury selection. The following day featured opening arguments and testimony by Phil Schiller, Apple's head of marketing. Other witnesses who have testified include Greg Christie, an Apple engineer who invented the slide-to-unlock iPhone feature; Thomas Deniau, a France-based Apple engineer who helped develop the company's quick link technology; and Justin Denison, chief strategy officer of Samsung Telecommunications America. Denison's testimony came via a deposition video.

Apple experts who took the stand over the past couple of weeks included Andrew Cockburn, a professor of computer science and software engineering at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Todd Mowry, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University; and Alex Snoeren, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California at San Diego.

There are seven patents at issue in the latest case -- five held by Apple and two by Samsung. Apple has accused Samsung of infringing US patents Nos. 5,946,647; 6,847,959; 7,761,414; 8,046,721; and 8,074,172. All relate to software features, such as "quick links" for '647, universal search for '959, background syncing for '414, slide-to-unlock for '721, and automatic word correction for '172. Overall, Apple argues that the patents enable ease of use and make a user interface more engaging.

Samsung, meanwhile, has accused Apple of infringing US patents Nos. 6,226,449 and 5,579,239. The '449 patent, which Samsung purchased from Hitachi, involves camera and folder organization functionality. The '239 patent, which Samsung also acquired, covers video transmission functionality and could have implications for Apple's use of FaceTime.

The Samsung gadgets that Apple says infringe are the Admire, Galaxy Nexus , Galaxy Note , Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S II, Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy SII Skyrocket, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, and the Stratosphere. Samsung, meanwhile, says the iPhone 4 , iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2 , iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPod Touch (fifth generation) and iPod Touch (fourth generation) all infringe.

The arguments by Apple and Samsung in the latest case are expected to last until April 29 or 30, at which time the jury will deliberate. Court will be in session three days each week -- Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays -- though the jury will deliberate every business day until it has reached a verdict.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. PT with details of Samsung's cross examination.

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