Putting another hefty price tag on the smartphone wars, Apple Inc. on Friday asked a federal judge to order rival Samsung Electronics Co. to pay about $22 million in legal fees and costs for fighting their patent feud over iPhone and iPad technology.
In court papers, Apple called the nearly $16 million in legal fees “conservative,” saying it amounted to less than one-third of the $60 million it spent on lawyers in the current legal battle that led to a jury verdict last year concluding Samsung had violated Apple’s patent rights on the iPhone and iPad. Apple is entitled to recover attorney fees from Samsung for violations of the Lanham Act, the federal trademark law invoked in its claims.
Apple is also demanding Samsung pick up $6.2 million in costs for a variety of expenses, much of it for reproducing materials for the case.
A federal jury in August 2012 found Samsung had violated Apple’s patent rights and trademark protections by copying iPhone and iPad technology in its older products, including the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets. That jury, and another jury in a separate damages retrial last month, hammered Samsung with more than $930 million in combined damages.
“The court should award Apple fees in this exceptional case,” Apple said in court documents. “Awarding fees to Apple ‘flows quite naturally’ from the jury’s willfulness verdict as well as Samsung’s extensive record of willful, deliberate and calculated decisions to copy the iPhone, in blatant disregard for Apple’s (intellectual property).”
Apple indicated that the legal fees extend through only last March and do not include the cost of pressing the recent damages retrial. The specific charges and billing were filed under seal, blocking out the detail of what was paid to the two main law firms representing Apple, Morrison & Foerster and WilmerHale.
Apple charged only for lawyers who billed more than $100,000 for work on the patent case against Samsung, according to the court papers.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh is expected to consider the fee request at a hearing in January.
Meanwhile, the billing meter is still ticking. Apple and Samsung are set for trial in March in the second patent case between the two rivals involving more recent versions of their smartphones and tablets.
Samsung is expected to appeal the first jury verdict to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears all patent appeals.