The patent feud goes around and around, this time over lost profits.

For lo, after the cracking of the seals that was last year’s $1 billion judgment in the Apple vs Samsung patent feud, comes the Horsemen; but though the first of those rides as a conqueror bent on conquest, Samsung would much rather he were a pleasanter fellow, asking for less money. When Samsung won its appeal, and Judge Koh told Apple Samsung wasn’t about to wipe it out, a lesser damages figure was inevitable. The question is, how much, and a re-trial has convened to discuss it.

Apple wants $380 million. Our goal is to stay humble, said Apple VP Tony Blevins, as he took to the stand to tell the jury how wonderful smartphones are, and how magnificent it was that Apple’s iPhone ranked #1. Now it’s time to pay the piper, intones Apple attorney Harold McElhinny, glaring over the table at the dastards in the Samsung corner. We lost profits, goes Apple’s argument, when Samsung brought out its patent-infringing devices, and “in a fair fight, that money should have gone to Apple,” claims McElhinny.

Samsung, predictably, disagrees. Not over the infringing bit; Samsung accepts that it lost the argument there, over the five patents in question. But $380 million is a lot of money. So is $52 million, and Samsung would much rather pay that amount. “The people who bought Samsung phones,” says Samsung attorney Bill Price, “chose Samsung because of the differences,” and while Apple was injured by Samsung, asking for lost profits is a bit too much. Apple’s asking for a windfall, he alleges, when Samsung itself only made $52 million on its phone sales. So Apple gets the money Samsung made, and everybody’s happy. Right?

Not even close to right. This one will go on for a while, and probably be appealed, at Heaven knows what kind of expense. Just goes to show, kids: if you want to go to court, make sure you can afford, say, the $430 per hour rate that Apple’s paying one of its star witnesses. Never mind the lawyer’s fees.

Source: Ars Technica

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