In the Apple v. Samsung trial currently underway, one of the issues Samsung is arguing is that Apple has grossly over-exaggerated their damages claim. Apple is asking for more than $2 billion in damages based on the alleged violation of five patents. New York University professor Tulin Erdem was brought in late last week as an expert witness on Samsung’s behalf to counter Apple’s own expert regarding the amount of damages.
Erdem indicated that Apple’s expert, John Hauser, teaches consumers about the very features at issue in the case. If it were not for Hauser educating the consumers about the features in the first place, no would would place any value on the features as consumers probably would not even be aware of them. According to Erdem, “they are not even in the radar screen of consumers…these are very granular…and they wouldn’t drive demand.” Erdem contends Hauser created “demand artifacts” that artificially inflate the damages value.
To help support their position, Samsung also introduced deposition testimony from Apple executives regarding the hundreds of features employed by Apple in their iPhones to make them easy to use. You may recall Samsung has filed a counter-suit against Apple for patent violations, but asked for a miniscule amount in damages as part of a strategy to downplay the significance and value of any given patent.
Although Samsung is arguing their devices and features don’t infringe on any Apple patents or that the Apple patents are invalid, they are also laying the groundwork for reduced damages should Apple prevail. This is why testimony like that offered by professor Erdem is so important.
The trial is expected to last another week before being taken up by the jury.