Apple Gets Greedy

If there's one entity on Earth that doesn't need more dollars, it's Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) . Yet, that's exactly what the iPhone maker is looking for in the wake of its legal victory against frenemy Samsung: more money.

Last month, a jury found the South Korean electronics conglomerate guilty of willful patent infringement, awarding Apple just over $1 billion in damages, by all accounts one of the largest amounts on record in cases of this kind. Apple was initially seeking over $2.5 billion in damages, and is now requesting Judge Lucy Koh to boost the $1 billion coming its way by an additional $707 million. For areas where Samsung was found to willfully infringe Apple's IP, Koh has it within her ability to triple damages, so this request is potentially within Apple's reach.

But wait, there's more! The company is also asking Koh to issue a permanent ban on domestic sales of Sammy's guilty devices, counting 26 different smartphone and tablet models. This would include the Galaxy Tab and older versions of its popular Galaxy S smartphone, which aren't seeing many sales nowadays anyhow. Then again, the court documents previously showed that not many people ever really bought the Galaxy Tab.

The newest Galaxy S III remains one of the top-selling devices among the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android army, and isn't currently included as an infringing device. However, Apple wants any device that's "not more than colorably different" to also be banned, which could potentially sweep up the Galaxy S III.

Unsurprisingly, Samsung's requests could not be farther to the opposite end of the spectrum. Sammy is asking for the jury's award to be reduced since it believes the jury improperly assigned damages related to lost profits, among other things. Its final bill, if it has its way, would be just $35 million, or roughly 97% less than what was awarded. Additionally, the company is asking for a new trial altogether due to the constraints Koh put on the original.

If the original ruling stands, Apple has already sent a strong billion-dollar message to the Android camp -- asking for more is just getting greedy.

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Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2012, at 9:00 PM, tychicum wrote:

    I think you may be missing the point. It isn't the money it is the disincentive to steal another companies Intellectual Property. It is the message which is sent.

    And before another fool pipes up and says Apple used PARC inventions ... yes they did. And paid what amounted to billions of dollars in today's value of Apple stock for the privilege. That is a part of the cost of doing business.

    Cross licensing and protection of important inventions are core business principles to IT companies of every sort. If you don't think HP or Dell would get as feisty over theft of their inventions you have a shortcoming in your understanding of today's tech companies.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2012, at 9:31 PM, RogMason wrote:

    Come on Fools, who is being greedy??? How about the companies that short circuited the expensive R&D process in the first place, having been in a position of trust on the board of directors - ( Googlie and Sammy) and then profited mightily on the spoils.

    Apple is only asking that justice be done. $707 million isn't the allowable $2billion. Clearly Apple have carefully calculated loss and damage and are asking only that.

    This is the USA. Bad guys have to pay and hard working guys, have a responsibility to go by the book and be fair.

    No, I think you have your wires crossed on this one Motley Fools.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2012, at 11:15 PM, lrd555 wrote:

    Stop stealing Apple's IP and Apple won't need to get greedy.

    Condoning theft is wrong.

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