While Apple is reportedly on record requesting that Samsung pay them billions in damages for the copyright infringement on their software features from iOS, Apple is also apparently paying the big bucks to witnesses to take the stand. We know what you’re thinking…at first it sounds like that might be just a little bit of a questionable tactic and we have to wonder if it’s ethical or even legal to do so. The fact is that it is legal and Apple is not the only one doing so. Both companies have reportedly been paying their expert witnesses large sums of money over the course of time since the case began to show how either company is right. Seriously, some of these expert witnesses are making more in their stint as witnesses for this case, than many households make in a year.
It’s a little shocking to hear some of the amounts that the witnesses have been paid. One computer scientist on the Apple side of the tree(Andrew Cockburn) has apparently been getting paid just shy of $500 an hour for his commitment to the cause. That’s a whole lot of cash but when you compare it to what Samsung paid to their equivalent witness, it almost seems like either Apple was getting a deal or that Samsung was overpaying. Samsung’s computer scientist Martin Rinard disclosed that he was being paid in the amount of $900 an hour for his time working for the case. That seems like an insane amount, but even crazier still is the dollar figure paid to the damages expert siding for Apple in the case, who has reportedly been paid around $2.3 million for his work on the leading up to the trial. Now granted, these do sound like extremely large figures to throw at expert witness for a court case, but in reality they’re doing actual work for either side of the company and are just being paid for their time. It isn’t really small amounts of time either, as the damages expert was paid $2.3 million over the last few years during his time working on the case for Apple, and Samsung’s computer scientist has acquired that per hour dollar amount over 800 hours of total work.
When you think about what these expert witness are being paid though, it seems like some of us might have the wrong career. Even though between both the computer scientist and the damages expert Apple has paid close to $3 million to help them with the case, if they get the damages amount they’re asking for they more than make up for the cost to win. Even if they get what Samsung is offering they still com out ahead by over $3 million. Any way you slice it one thing is for certain, court cases between major corporations are expensive, and people that might end up with the capability to be your Martin Rinards and Andrew Cockburns have the potential to be paid fairly handsomely for their services.