The latest Apple-Samsung trial hit a critical stage on Tuesday, with lawyers for both companies battling over how much the patents at issue in the case are worth.
Things heated up as Apple called MIT professor John Hauser, one of its experts as to the value of the five patents at issue in the case. Apple is seeking $2 billion in damages, while Samsung has said that figure is a “gross exaggeration” of what it should have to pay, even if it is found to have infringed on Apple’s technology.
Hauser did what is known as a “conjoint survey” of Samsung phone owners in an attempt to determine whether and how much buyers of Samsung phones valued the features related to the five patents.
Apple used a similar analysis from Hauser in the first Apple-Samsung trial in which he found customers might pay as much as $100 more for a Samsung phone that included patented features. In that case, two juries eventually award Apple nearly $1 billion in damages.
On cross-examination Tuesday, Samsung attorneys hammered away at Hauser, noting his study didn’t take into account the value of Samsung’s brand, the Android operating system or other key features of the phone. Their questioning of Hauser is due to continue after lunch.
Apple is expected to wrap up its primary case this week, either later on Tuesday, or, more likely, when court resumes Friday. Samsung will then present its defense as well as its counterclaim that Apple products infringe on two of its patents.
Update: After lunch, Samsung continued to push at Hauser’s methods. In particular, Samsung lawyer Bill Price argued that Hauser’s survey overstated what customers would lose if they were not given use of Apple’s patented technology.
For example, Price said that in Hauser’s survey, the alternative to Apple’s automatic word correction patent was to have to choose from among suggestions. Price used a Galaxy S III not accused of infringing that patent to show how that device automatically corrected the word “birfday” to “birthday” without infringing on Apple’s patent.
Hauser, for his part, said that the option presented to those taking the survey was designed to be representative of the many non-infringing alternatives.
“My understanding [is that] Samsung proposed a lot of non-infringing alternatives,” Hauser said. “Naturally I couldn’t test all of them.”
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