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Apple seeking $15 million in attorneys fees from Samsung

Yoni Heisler, @edibleapple
December 6, 2013
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In addition to the nearly US$1 billion judgment Apple secured against Samsung for patent infringement, Apple now wants the Korean-based tech giant to foot a percentage of its legal costs.

In a motion filed on Thursday, Apple articulates why Samsung should fork over $15.7 million in attorneys' fees. According to the filing, that figure amounts to about less than one-third of what Apple spent on legal fees from the outset of the case through March 1, 2013, the date marking "the last order on motions arising from the first trial."

To bolster its position, Apple cites Section 1117(a) of the Lanham Act, which details appropriate remedies in cases where willful trade dress dilution is present. The Lanham Act allows for an award of reasonable attorneys' fees in "exceptional cases."

Apple's motion explains that previous court rulings have fashioned the term "exceptional" to mean cases where "fraudulent, deliberate or willful" conduct has been found.

To that end, Apple's motion doesn't mince words, calling Samsung's copying "willful, deliberate and calculated."

Under any measure, this was an exceptional case. The evidence that Samsung deliberately copied every aspect of Apple's revolutionary iPhone product was overwhelming. Apple prevailed on one or more claims of trade dress dilution or patent infringement against 26 of 28 accused products.

Apple's motion also references a 138-page Samsung report that painstakingly detailed the positive attributes of the iPhone and ways in which Samsung devices could incorporate them.

The Relative Evaluation Report compared virtually every aspect of the iPhone with the Samsung phone then in development, each time finding Samsung's phone wanting and each time directing that Samsung's phone be changed to resemble the iPhone. Samsung acted in complete disregard of Apple's IP - there is not a shred of evidence in the record to suggest that Samsung made any effort to determine whether the various iPhone features were protected, much less to avoid violating Apple's IP rights.

In sum, Apple argues that Samsung, in its zeal to amass market share in the smartphone market, blatantly copied a number of iPhone features without any regard to Apple's intellectual property.

As a final point, Apple insinuates that Samsung should be glad it's only being asked to pay $15.7 million, a figure which Apple claims is "conservative."

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