Last updated: September 23, 2012 2:17 pm

Apple seeks higher payout from Samsung

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Customers queue to enter the Apple Store where a giant logo is displayed©AFP

Apple has raised the stakes in its patent battle with arch rival Samsung by pressing for another $707m in damages following a court ruling in a US patent infringement suit last month.

On August 24 a court in California ruled that Samsung had wilfully infringed several design and user-interface features of Apple’s iPhone and awarded the US company $1.05bn in damages. 

The companies will return to court in December to hear the result of an application by Apple for a sales ban on several of Samsung’s smartphone and tablet devices.

But Apple has now demanded more extensive damages ahead of that hearing by calling for the award to be increased by $707m, arguing in a court hearing on Friday that the initial award was insufficient to compensate it for the “lasting harm” it had suffered. 

Apple is also calling for a US sales ban on 26 smartphones and tablets produced by Samsung. Most of these are old models that contribute little to Samsung’s revenues, but Apple also wants any ban to apply to devices “not colourably different” from the named devices, raising a possible threat to newer products such as the popular Galaxy S3 phone. 

Also on Friday, Samsung filed its own response to the ruling, in which it called for a new trial, arguing that it had not been treated fairly in the original hearing. “The court’s constraints on trial time, witnesses and exhibits were unprecedented for a patent case of this magnitude,” Samsung said. 

 “Samsung was also treated unequally: Apple’s lay and expert witnesses were allowed to testify ‘we were ripped off’ and ‘Samsung copied’, while Samsung’s witnesses were barred from explaining how Samsung’s products differ from Apple’s.”

Additionally, Samsung questioned the size of the damages award, alleging errors in the calculation of its own profits and Apple’s lost sales. 

The court battle has raised fears of damage to the reputations of both companies. The award against Samsung lent weight to claims that it is better at following others’ game-changing products than developing its own. Shares in Samsung fell 7 per cent in the first trading day after the ruling, although they have since more than recovered that lost value. 

Meanwhile, critics of Apple have argued that it is focusing too much energy on litigation at the cost of innovation. Some analysts were disappointed this month by the lack of revolutionary new features in the iPhone 5, but the device is set to be a huge commercial success with more than 2m “pre-orders” in the first 24 hours after its launch on September 12.

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