If you’ve ever wondered how companies like Apple settle on a figure for which to sue their competitors in the many and varied legal trials you hear about, you’re in luck. Court filings have revealed how Apple came to the $US2.19 billion sum it’s currently pursuing Samsung for.
Apple is currently seeking payment from Samsung over five allegedly infringed patents going back as far as 2011. To reach that figure it’s after, Apple hired industry expert John Hauser, who surveyed less than 1000 consumers about imaginary smartphones and tablets — 507 about smartphones, 459 about tablets — including features that aren’t even being discussed in the trial. That, apparently, gave them insight into the value of the five patents Apple is accusing Samsung of copying.
Then, Christopher Vellturo — a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate who’s spent the past 12 years running consultancy Quantitative Economic Solutions — took the data and conducted 4000 to 5000 hours of research to make sense of it. After industry and market analysis, and going through an “extraordinary amount of documents,” he and his company figured that the infringed patents could have cost Apple $US2.19 billion.
So, there’s no denying that a lot of work went into arriving at that numbers. Equally, there’s no doubting the credentials of some of the guys working towards settling on it, either. But the fact remains that it is based as much on speculation as it is cold hard evidence. The trials is in its second of an estimated four weeks. It remains to be seen whether Samsung or Apple has the strongest case. [The Verge]