Damages expert witness Julie Davis convinced an eight-member federal jury that Apple, Inc. deserved to be paid $290 million by the company that profited from infringing on the tech giant’s patents. According to Reuters, Apple argued that Samsung Electronics Co. profited from “ [copying] various iPhone features – like using fingers to pinch and zoom on the screen – along with design touches like the phone’s flat, black glass screen.” Davis’s expert witness testimony helped resolve a dispute among jurors as to whether $178 million of the more than $230 million of profits that Samsung earned was attributable to Samsung’s operating costs as the South Korean-based company claimed. The jury deliberated for two days but ultimately awarded a $290 million judgment in Apple’s favor.
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The lengthy legal battle between “[t]he world’s top two smartphone makers” has been ongoing since 2011, when Apple first initiated the patent infringement lawsuit. A jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in August 2012, finding that Samsung infringed on five Apple patents related to the iPhone’s design and functionality. However, the impressively unequivocal U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh vacated about $450 million of the original award because “it was unclear how the jury had calculated that portion.” As the issue boiled down to damage calculations, Apple brought in “superstar” expert witness Julie Davis to help explain why Samsung should pay $380 million. Samsung’s rebuttal attempted to diminish the company’s liability to $52 million. CNET reports that Samsung attorney Bill Price accused Apple for “mischaracterizing” their patents, arguing that “[Apple’s] patents are very narrow… Apple doesn’t own beautiful and sexy.”
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Expert witness testimony convinced the jury that Samsung’s argument for a $52 million judgment was unfounded. According to Bloomberg, Davis’s testimony demonstrated that “Samsung didn’t provide sufficient evidence…to make its case that the entire amount should be deducted for its operating costs.” Additionally, Davis reinforced arguments made by Apple’s attorney Bill Lee that “Samsung’s patent infringement significantly harmed the company” and that “Samsung’s copycat tactics helped it gain significant market share while other rivals struggled.” The Chicago-based certified public accountant clearly explained to the jury that Samsung did not deserve to get a $178 million discount from the damages it owed to Apple.
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Bloomberg reports that the historic $290 million jury award marks the “largest jury award this year in a patent case” (and the fifth largest U.S. jury award to date for 2013). According to The New York Times, the California jury “calculated the damages based on 13 products that infringed Apple’s patents. They determined that two smartphones incurred the heftiest damages: Samsung’s Infuse 4G, at about $100 million, and the Droid Charge, at $60 million.” Samsung currently owes Apple a total of $929.8 million for damages related to the patent infringement.