Apple moves to recover $15 million in legal fees from Samsung


Just a day following the mid-November Appeals court ruling which gave Apple another chance to ban Samsung’s infringing devices, the iPhone maker made its case on why it’s entitled to an additional $379 million in pending damages over patent infringement and lost sales in the Apple vs Samsung lawsuit.

Following a short period of deliberation, a jury of six women and two men reached a conclusion for the retrial between Apple and Samsung over damages, ruling the Galaxy maker must pay Apple an additional $290 million on top of more than the $500 million in damages already awarded last year.

But Tim Cook & Co. aren’t stopping there. As reported by an expert patent blogger, Apple is now demanding a cool $15 million in legal fees from Samsung, or one third of Apple attorneys’ fees that total over $60 million…

Patent blogger Florian Müeller cites on his blog, FOSS Patents, Apple’s filing with the Northern District of California which argues that Samsung’s copying of iPhone technology made this litigation “an exceptional case in which an award of attorneys’ fees is warranted”.

Apple is seeking to recover from Samsung $15,736,992 ($15.7 million) out of more than $60 million spent in attorneys’ fees on the first California case.

The $15.7 million portion represents one third of Apple’s attorneys’ fees from the outset of this dispute through March 1, 2013 – the day on which Judge Lucy Koh entered a damages ruling, her last post-trial decision with respect to the first trial.

This means Apple does not seek recovery with respect to the costs of the retrial. Also, Apple only lists fees of timekeepers who billed more than $100,000.

The filing goes on to note that “no fees from Apple’s successful defense against Samsung’s claims are included”. Under the current United States legal system rules, courts rarely award attorneys’ fees.

As a rule of thumb, such fees are granted only in “exceptional” cases. That Apple sought to collect attorney fees reflects a growing disconnect and animosity between Apple, Samsung’s top client, and Samsung, Apple’s key supplier.

The company listed a few such exceptional cases where similar amounts were awarded.

In one example, Apple cited a whopping $105.7 million award in a copyright case that was upheld on appeal. Other cases include Mattel, Inc. vs MGA Entertainment, Inc. where the Federal Circuit upheld an award of $16.8 million for attorney fees and Takeda Chemical Industries vs Mylan Labs that saw a $19 million award in legal fees.

The two Apple vs Samsung cases – the original August 2012 trial and a retrial in November 2013, resulted in a total damages award of about $929 million, or a little over a hundred million bucks short of the original $1.05 billion ruling over patent infringement.