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Apple Gets Greedy

By Evan Niu, CFA – Sep 24, 2012 at 8:00PM

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If there's one entity on Earth that doesn't need more dollars, it's Apple.

If there's one entity on Earth that doesn't need more dollars, it's Apple (AAPL 2.56%). 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 (GOOGL 3.04%) 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.


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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