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Apple calls in experts to detail $2.2 billion claim in Samsung patent trial

With the latest Apple-Samsung patent trial now into its second week, the Cupertino company on Tuesday hired the services of several experts to explain how it had arrived at its $2.2 billion damages claim against its Korean rival.

While it may have not been the most riveting testimony that the eight-person jury has so far had to sit through, the details are vital as part of Apple’s case against Samsung, which it claims has infringed a number of software patents connected with its iDevices.

Sales boost

The first expert to take the stand was John Hauser, a professor of marketing at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In his testimony, Hauser argued that some of Apple’s patented features, including slide-to-unlock, made Samsung devices more attractive to consumers, and that fewer units would have been sold by the Seoul-based tech firm had the features not been present.

Hauser told the San Jose, California courtroom he’d arrived at his conclusion after surveying almost a thousand Samsung device owners.

However, attorneys for the Korean company rejected Hauser’s claim, saying elements such as the brand and operating system were far more important for consumers when it came to deciding what product to purchase.

Royalties, sales and profits

Next up was Quantitative Economic Solutions president Chris Vellturo, who said he’d calculated the $2.2 billion figure, which he broke down in great detail, on the basis of royalties, and lost sales and profits.

The scale of the patent violations, the time period over which it occurred, the level of rivalry between the two firms, and the importance of the patents to making Samsung products more appealing were also part of his calculations, Vellturo said, adding that he believed the company had sold in excess of 37 million infringing devices.

He also said the infringement had come at a time of rapid growth in the market, when many consumers were buying their first smartphone.

Vellturo backed up his claim that Samsung had taken elements of Apple’s mobile devices to improve their ease of use by referring to several internal Samsung documents showing the company was concerned its mobile products were harder to operate than Apple’s.

Samsung’s legal team believes Apple’s patents cover minor areas and should never have been granted in the first place, and that if the company is found to have infringed any, the damages claimed by its rival are way over the mark.

While Apple continues with its $2.2 billion claim that Samsung has infringed five of its patents, the Korean tech firm is also demanding Apple pay a far smaller amount – $2 million – for infringing two of its software patents.

The trial is expected to run for at least several more weeks.

[Source: Cnet, Recode]

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