Samsung Stole Apple’s Ideas At Crucial Time, Expert Says

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How do you convince a jury you’re owed $2 billion in damages? If you’re Apple you hire an MIT-trained economist to do it for you.

While the patent war between Apple and Samsung continues to rage, Apple on Tuesday called economist Chris Vellturo to spell out exactly why Apple is asking to be paid $2 billion in damages ($2.19B to be exact) from arch-rival Samsung for infringing on five of its utility patents.

“It’s a very large market and Samsung has made a lot of sales into that market,” Vellturo said, before getting into the nitty-gritty specifics of how he came to his estimate. Samsung’s alleged infringement is made worse, he noted, because it came at a time of dramatic growth in the smartphone market when many consumers were buying their first devices.

Because people’s choice of first smartphone can then be a major determining future phone and tablet purchases, Samsung’s moves have cost Apple considerably.

Couple that with royalty rate for patent infringement with Apple’s lost profits during that same time period, and that’s where Vellturo’s $2 billion sum comes from.

Vellturo noted how he and his firm have spent “thousands of hours” studying the market and the patents in question — and that he himself has spent more than “800 hours” personally. Apple also had MIT professor John Hauser present survey results showing how valuable its patents are.

Currently Apple has used 11 hours and 14 minutes out of its 25-hour allotment in front of the jury, while Samsung has used just six hours and 29 minutes.

The last time Apple and Samsung clashed in court over a major patent damages case, Samsung was ordered to pay Apple an iWatering $930 million in damages, which the current case is appealing.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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