AH Tech Talk: Why Do We Buy Samsung Devices - For Their Touchscreen Tech or Other Features?

Credit: Michelle Meyers/CNET

Did you choose and buy your Samsung device over an Apple device because of the touchscreen features, such as "pinch and zoom," or for the many other features that Samsung devices bring to the table? That is exactly what an expert, testifying on Samsung's behalf is claiming - do you agree? And will these Apple vs. Samsung battles over patents ever stop as we head into this fourth day of a retrial for damages that Samsung owes Apple for infringing on five of their patents.

Right now the big debate is over how much Samsung owes Apple for infringing on its patent No. 7,844,915, also known in the trenches as "pinch and zoom."  Apple hired an expert who determined that Samsung owed Apple $114 million in lost profits because Samsung used this technology in their devices.  However, Samsung hired their own expert to defend them - an accountant and attorney - Michael Wagner.  According to CNet, Wagner claims that Samsung owes no more than $52 million because there is no evidence or proof that consumers bought those Samsung products because of any particular Apple technology.  He said:

I believe people bought these phones for other features.  That includes bigger, AMOLED screens; faster processors; and 4G LTE.

This "patent war" goes all the way back to 2011, when Apple accused Samsung that they were copying the "look and feel" of its products.  Samsung claimed they were working on phones with rectangle shaped touchscreens that had rounded corners long before Apple produced the iPhone.  In August 2012, a nine-person jury sided with Apple and awarded them over $1 billion in damages, which was much less than the $2.75 billion Apple was originally asking.

In March 2013, Judge Lucy Koh, slashed the original amount by $450 million, however, Samsung still owes them $600 million from the larger trial. Wagner is auguring that Apple's expert accountant, Julie Davis, did not correctly calculate Apple's lost profits caused by Samsung's infringement, because she put too much value onto Samsung's use of the touchscreen technology patent. He claims that we were buying them because of features that Samsung products offered that the iPhone did not, such as large, Super AMOLED displays, faster processors, and 4G LTE connectivity. Apple's Davis took the value of the actual touchscreen as the main reason Apple lost sales of their own products and that they should be compensated for both lose of both sales and patent infringements.

The Judge has granted Samsung's request to not allow Apple's claim to lost profits. Samsung argued, had they been informed of the infringement when it occurred, they would have developed their own work-around technology, and Judge Koh, agreed, and stated:

The Court is concerned that Apple's new lost profits theory will invite the jury to come up with a lost profits award founded on little more than pure speculation.

The Samsung devices involved in the case are all older devices and include the Galaxy Prevail, Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Galaxy SII AT&T, Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, and Transform.

So what do you think? Did you buy your Samsung device because it had "pinch and zoom" technology or because you love those Super AMOLED displays, bigger displays than the competition was selling, the faster processors, and 4G LTE connectivity. Let us know in the comments or on Google+ what you think about the Samsung vs. Apple "patent wars."

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