Apple demands $2.5b damages from Samsung

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Apple demands $2.5b damages from Samsung

Last-ditch arguments before full-blown trial.

Apple is seeking $US2.5 billion ($AU2.45 billion) in damages from its high-stakes battle against Samsung in the US over allegations the South Korean manufacturer was "unjustly enriched" by infringing on Apple patents.

The estimate was revealed in a court filing early Tuesday and first reported on the FOSS Patents blog, six days before the world's largest consumer electronics companies are scheduled to begin a jury trial before US District Judge Lucy Koh in California on July 30.

Apple accused Samsung of infringing its patents by "slavishly copying" its rival and making its popular Galaxy phone and computer tablets "work and look" like Apple products, enabling the South Korean company to overtake it as the world's largest maker of smartphones.

Samsung has countered that it simply developed its own "unique" products in a bid to "best the competition", and has countersued Apple for its own patents used in the iPhone and iPad.

In its court filing, Apple said Samsung owes "substantial monetary damages" because it illegally "chose to compete by copying Apple".

It claimed Samsung has been "unjustly enriched" by an undisclosed amount — presumed about $US2 billion — and deprived Apple of $500 million of profit and $25 million of reasonable royalty damages. This resulted in a combined total of $2.525 billion, Apple said.

Apple called its estimates conservative, and still plans to pursue a permanent injunction to stop future violations.

Almost immediately after Apple's filing, Samsung countered with a filing accusing the Cupertino, California-based company of trying "to stifle legitimate competition and limit consumer choice to maintain its historically exorbitant profits".

It said Apple should pay for using patented Samsung technology, "without which Apple could not have become a successful participant in the mobile telecommunications industry".

The dispute is part of a worldwide legal battle over the alleged theft of technology used in smartphones and tablets, including those powered by Google Android, which Samsung uses in its most popular devices.

The two companies have been battling against each other in Australian courts this week, with the hearings there expected to last three months.

The complexity of the legal battle is also deepened by Samsung's allegations resolving around some patents deemed essential to international data transmission standards for all smartphones and mobile devices on 3G networks, and thus subject to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) practices.

The parties have failed to date, however, to agree on the value of those patents.

Apple said any remedy to which Samsung could be entitled over its "declared-essential patents" should be limited to half a cent per unit for each infringed patent.

Last week, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and top Samsung executives participated in court-supervised mediation to try to resolve the case but a resolution appeared to be unlikely, people familiar with the matter said.

In its own filing, Apple claimed it is entitled to reasonable royalty rates from Samsung of more than $US31 per infringing unit.

Apple's asserted patents are not subject to the same FRAND practices Samsung's are.

Apple's estimates included $24 for each use of Apple's "design patents or trade dress rights",  $3.10 for each use of a patent related to scrolling technology, $2.02 for each use of a patent covering a "tap to zoom" feature, and $2.02 for each use of a patent that tells users with a "bounce" when they reached the bottom of screens.

(Reporting By Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Andrew Hay)

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