Slap on the wrist: Samsung’s damages for infringing Apple’s patents equivalent to 16 days’ profit

“The $930 million in damages Samsung was ordered to pay Apple last year for infringing its smartphone patents is more than some device makers earn in a year, but for Samsung it’s equal to just over 16 days’ worth of profit,” Martyn Williams reports for Macworld.

“The Seoul-based company reported its financial results Friday and said quarterly operating profit from its IT and mobile communications division, which sells primarily phones and tablets, came to $5.1 billion,” Williams reports. “That works out to roughly $56.6 million per day, so the damages it was ordered to pay Apple in one of their California lawsuits amounts to just over two weeks of profit.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Samsung should be penalized for theft, but this kind of article is misleading.

    It’s like how Google wanted patent licenses for 2.5% of the product cost, rather than a few cents for the actual component. Should show how much value the infringed patent added to the product, rather than compare to profits.

    1. The issue is that with these kinds of penalties there’s no way to deter patent infringement in this sector.

      Whatever the “value” of these specific patents, Samsung was able capture almost half the market using Apple’s Protected intellectual property. There’s no way they’d have gotten there without the stolen IP. The lesson is steal now, and pay the (small) penalty later.

  2. This is a common problem in many fields. For example, a $1,000 speeding ticket would be ghastly event for most of us. But if you are making big bucks, it is no longer a deterrent. In Sweden, those wise people have a sliding scale for fines.

    A few years ago, a multimillionaire was caught speeding. His ticket was in the sinus clearing million dollar plus category. The millionaire in question was stunned. He yelled and he screamed all over town. And he stopped speeding.

    Thusly, the U.S. patent courts (which are so far behind in all category of justice) will probably never get to a sliding scale of proper fines.

    But I remain calm, because I don’t think Samsung will ever pay the fine anyway, and I expect the “workaround” changes to “stop using the patents” will be a joke anyway.

    In the meantime, like a substantial number of Apple fans, I have stopped buying anything that has anything remotely Samsung about it, and I have made it a personal goal to gently chid users of Samsung phones, softly suggesting they have lost their integrity. I think it works. I know they don’t like it. The Samsung timepiece is not selling. Oh, dang! I hate it when that happens.

    A closing note to Judge Koh: You spent a considerable chunk of time dealing with Samsung’s rude behavior in court. You should at least get enough of a pound of flesh to get their attention. A few days for contempt of court at least. But you won’t.

  3. i guess that onstage declaration ‘and we’ve patented the hell out of this’ uttered by sj when he introduced the iPhone wasn’t as formidable as it sounded. certainly not to eric schmidt. certainly not to the gang of shamwow. what does it take these days to protect someone’s IP.

    no, it doesn’t stand for international pantyhose.

    1. Don’t matter a pair of dingo’s kidneys how many patents you have- the process of protecting them in the current state of legal affairs is endless, frustrating, and continually and infinitely expensive.

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