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Apple, Samsung Patent Cases Offer Big Payout For IP Lawyers

Publication Date: 
December 11, 2013
Inside Counsel
Stefanie Mosca

Professor Mark Lemley comments on the expensive nature of smartphone patent litigation for Inside Counsel. 

Apple and Samsung have been going at it tooth and nail in the courts, fighting over patents that are at the heart of their smartphone products. Back in October, President Obama upheld an International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling that blocked Samsung from importing or selling devices that infringed upon Apple’s intellectual property. Now, Apple is striving to recoup damages a judge cut from a $1.05 billion jury award in a patent dispute case.

In 2012, a jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages in an intellectual property suit the tech giant brought against Samsung. However, in March 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh found that the original jury overstated damages by using incorrect dates and mistakenly awarded damages that related to utility patents. In the end, nearly $411 million was subtracted from the initial award.


Stanford University IP law professor Mark Lemley estimates that more than $1 billion has been spent in recent years on all the smartphone patent litigation. As technology, and mobile devices in particular, continue to lead the consumer-driven market, intellectual property cases of this magnitude and the payoff it provides for legal teams doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, during a time where other practice areas are not seeing the same success.