Samsung Argues that Apple Should Get $38.4 million, Not $2 Billion

Apple v. SamsungAn expert witness testifying for Samsung told jurors on Monday that even if Samsung infringed on five Apple patents, the most—the absolute most—Apple would be entitled to would be US$38.4 million dollars, not the $2 billion Apple wants.

In testimony just before Samsung rested its case, Judith Chevalier, a professor of economics and finance at the Yale University School of Management, testified that Apple's patents were worth 35 cents per device per patent, but that no one bought Samsung devices because of the patented features.

"My analysis compensates Apple through a reasonable royalty and [...] I have determined Apple has not lost sales as a result of Samsung's practice of the patents," Ms. Chevalier said during her testimony, according to CNet.

Apple has asked for some $2 billion in damages. At $40 per device, that price has been called excessive and would certainly outstrip other per device damage awards in this industry. Apple has argued, however, that it would have taken that much to get a license from Apple in the first place and that people bought Samsung devices because the South Korean company copied Apple's patented features and designs.

This trial focuses on five of Apple's software patents.

Ms. Chevalier, who was hired by Samsung for the trial, wasn't having it, saying that because Samsung's range of infringing products generated different levels of profits for Samsung, it was clear that people weren't buying because of the infringing features.

"We have to conclude that the differences in profitability across these products is being driven by something else other than the practice of these patents," she said. "The value created by these products is really negligible."

Apple partisans will scream foul at this assertion, while Android/Samsung partisans will nod their heads in understanding. The reality, however, is that this is what expert witnesses do. They are paid large sums of money based on whether or not they are saying what the hirer wants them to say.