It was time for another Apple expert witness today, who said that consumers would be willing to pay $100 for three specific, patented features that are at issue in the high-profile, high-stakes court case against Samsung. John Hauser, called by Apple as an expert due to his role as a marketing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said that in his internet survey, consumers were willing to pay this much more for features like scrolling or multitouch. The survey, Apple proposes, has relevance when calculating potential damages for Apple due to potential patent infringement. Apple is seeking over $2.5 billion from Samsung.
Samsung lawyers took the bait, attacking Hauser over the study’s methodology. He acknowledged that the results of his study, done in isolation on the internet, might not necessarily correspond to real-world consumer spending.
“This relates to it but it’s not it, no,” Hauser said, equivocally. Hauser went on to assert that consumers would also be willing to pay $90 for the same features on a tablet device, according to his study.
William Price, attorney for Samsung, asked why there was no mention of actual features like extra memory on different tablet models, which could actually be compared to real-world prices and behaviors. “Wouldn’t you want to look in the market and see whether or not this makes sense?” said the lawyer.
Hauser simply said that he was confident in the methodology of his study.
We’ll just mark this one down as a not so brilliant moment in the Apple prosecution’s case. While it must be fairly tough to prove that specific features, if infringed, are related to any specific loss in sales, that’s exactly what Apple must do in this current case in order to receive any type of damage settlement.