Apple and Samsung are famously fighting each other in courts around the world. One of the most famous is a trial that Apple won in 2012 in California. Thanks to a variety of appeals and the Northern District of California’s help in getting the damages reassessed, the trial has remained in court for a year. The two attending a hearing on Jan. 23 where it was recently made known that Apple is requesting damages of $40 per phone or tablet sold as unpaid royalties for devices that Samsung infringed the patents of.
According to Foss Patents, Apple is requesting Samsung to pay $40 dollars per unit for the five patents that the court ruled infringed on Apple’s patents for the phone number tapping feature, unified search, data synchronization, slide-to-unlock, and auto complete.
Foss Patents’ Florian Mueller thinks Apple has “lost its mind.” From his point of view, Apple is suffering from “reality distortion” and asking $40 per unit for five software patents is an “objective insanity.”
Mueller, referring to another patent lawsuit with Research In Motion (Blackberry) where he calculated to actual cost of a smartphone that would be made from patents that cost approximately $8 each per unit ($40 divided by five patents). By his estimate at that price, a phone using the variety of patents necessary to make a smartphone would actual cost around one million dollars. The average smartphone uses approximately 125,000 patents.
Mueller also points out that this new $40 per-unit request conflicts with Apple’s previous actions. Before the patent suit ever began, Apple offered Samsung $30 per unit for its entire portfolio of patents (not just the five). Additionally, when asked to calculate damages in 2012, when the court ruled in Apple’s favor, the company estimated approximately $7 per unit, altogether.
“Apple’s royalty-type damages claim for five software patents is all so far out of the ballpark of anything that has ever been claimed or rumored to be paid in this industry for entire portfolios,” writes Mueller.
While Mueller’s assertions are legitimate for traditional patents, this request for damages is no in order to seek industry standard fees for patent use, but in order to punish a company for infringing on those patents. Apple may be requesting an outrageous amount of money from Samsung for damages, but maybe Samsung should have paid for them in the first place, back in 2010 when Apple offered them.