Apple patent battles create lawyer boon at $1,200 an hour

“Apple Inc. has spent at least $32 million in one patent-infringement dispute with Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit — one among many legal fights on four continents,” Susan Decker reports for Bloomberg.

“Add them up and it’s clear the Cupertino, California-based company is paying hundreds of millions of dollars in its quest to prove that Samsung Electronics Co., Motorola Mobility and HTC Corp. ripped off the iPhone,” Decker reports. “The lawsuits are a boon for patent lawyers, who bill companies as much as $1,200 an hour each for their ability to help jurors and judges understand technology and arcane rules of law. Apple has spent more than $2 million on expert witnesses alone for a trial in its case against Samsung in federal court in San Jose, California, based on a compilation of what witnesses said they were being paid. That case is in the hands of the jury.”

Decker reports, “Legal fees, like advertising, are investments in the companies’ efforts to seize and defend share in a global smartphone market that grew 62 percent to $219 billion last year. Suwon, Korea-based Samsung is the world’s biggest smartphone maker, while Apple dominates in the U.S. Apple’s $32 million expense in the one Motorola Mobility dispute equals less than six hours of iPhone sales.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. That’s a lot of MacBooks and iMacs to sell just to cover the law-suits.
    I *do* feel that Google and Samsung have “somehow” ripped-off Apple – but even I have a hard time really nailing it down to more than a gut-feeling. I really wouldn’t want to be on that jury now.

    1. Having served on a jury once, I can say that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It is a huge responsibility because you have someone else’s fate in your hands and you want to act responsibly. The jury will only be acting upon information given at the trial so who knows how this will turn out? It sure seems like Samsung has ripped off Apple but whether or not they did it legally is the big question obviously. However in the court of public opinion Samsung loses. I think to the general public it’s pretty clear that Apple has been ripped off big time. I certainly hope that it turns out to be so in court. Too many people worked long and hard at Apple to develop all the great things that they have to offer us. I’m long AAPL.

      1. FYI, there is no Court of Public opinion, as there are as many people who have a hate on for Apple as there are for Samsung. Furthermore, only people like us even care and we probably do not even make up 1% of the world population.

        The only way this becomes main stream news will be if LG or Sharp screw up the iPhone display quality requirements that Apple has come to expect from Samsung and in turns becomes an issue for Apple.

  2. Lawyers, who produce nothing, add nothing, parasitically suck out $1200/Hr ultimately from all of us who buy the products. How can they possibly be worth that much money??

    1. When my mom was a child, her father was driving and came to a set of train tracks. This was before they had the big arms that come down, back then there were only signals.

      The signal was not functioning properly and my grandfather pulled out in front of a train that came around a corner with no warning. He quickly grabbed onto the steering wheel and held it for his life. There were no seatbeltd back then either. His passenger was ejected and killed immediately. My grandfathers car was demolished and he went to the hospital.

      He was charged with manslaughter and would have spent years in prison.

      But that did not happen thanks to one of those parasites that do nothing what so ever, except leech from society.

      Because one of these parasites was able to show that the train company was at fault with a malfunctioning signal, my mother was able to grow up knowing her father and her and her brother and mother did not grow up destitute.

      Do you have any more you’d care to add to this discussion Gaelic? You are doing great so far.

    1. Most laws aren’t written by lawyers anymore. That’s part of the problem. Governments, especially our federal government, have taken to the new theory of draft a general law and leave it up to various agencies to develop rules, regulations, etc. to create the actual details of the law. Tends to be a messy process.

  3. Apple will prevail on most and give up a few while SamDung will loose most and maybe win a baby judgement on something but not playing fair with their 3G patents pricing goes against them ….

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