Timing is Everything

As the litigation drags on between Apple and Samsung and each side accuses the other of various acts of infringement, every once in a while an interesting bit of information comes to light. This month, Apple explained that it is entitled to $2.2 billion in damages because of...timing.

According to Apple, Samsung infringed five Apple patents, using crucial technology in over 37 million Samsung smartphones and tablets sold between August 2011 and the end of 2013. Samsung used certain elements borrowed from the iPhone to make its own devices easier to use, claims Apple attorney Christopher Vellturo, who says that the infringement came at a time that the smartphone market was "in a profound state of change and growth because so many people [were]...buying phones."

And now that the majority of consumers own smartphones, that dramatic growth has slowed - and Apple lost some opportunities to win customers. Apple contends that Samsung's ability to offer a less expensive, larger smartphone - allegedly built with the infringed Apple technologies - are enough of a reason to ask for $2.2 billion in damages.

“That had a dramatic effect on Apple, and the compensation is therefore substantial,” says Vellturo.

Samsung disagrees with Apple's exorbitant damages claim, and says that Apple owes it $7 million based on the infringement of two Samsung software patents.

And now that Apple's lawyers have revealed that Samsung saw the death of Apple CEO and icon Steve Jobs as "our best opportunity to attack iPhone," the litigation between Apple and Samsung is about to get even uglier (if that's possible). What's more, the leaked emails show that Samsung was not opposed to asking for help from Google, the provider of Android.

The Apple and Samsung melodrama doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon, but at least it has begun providing a bit more intrigue.