Jan 23 AT 5:29 PM Nick Gray 31 Comments

Rumor: Apple spent $100 million in legal fees on patent case against HTC

android-vs-apple Image via: laihiu with Creative Commons

With the dozens of patent cases floating around these days, we’re sure many of you have been wondering just how much Apple, Motorola, Samsung, HTC and all the other manufacturers are spending on their high-priced lawyers. Since most companies don’t disclose how much they spend on legal representation, we’ll probably never know an exact figure, but a new rumor is floating around which suggests that Apple spent a staggering amount of money on just one case.

The story comes to us from Dan Lyons’ personal blog which states that a source close the Apple lawyers has heard rumors that Apple spent roughly $100 million in its first case against HTC.

We’re not sure who the source is or if the $100 million price tag for legal fees is remotely accurate, but it does at least show that these companies are spending real money on lawsuits that have little to no impact on the competition.

The case referenced above was brought against HTC in January of 2010 with 84 various claims based on 10 of Apple’s precious patents. After a year and a half, the case completely morphed as Apple prepped more and more patents for the complaint. The end result was a small victory for Apple based on two patents. While Apple techinically won an injunction against HTC, a minor software update will allow HTC to continue to sell its phones within the US market.

The hope is that Apple and all the other manufacturers do a little due-diligence research and calculate what their financial gain would truly be if they win all of their patent cases before setting off to make a quick buck by suing Android manufacturers. $100 million may not be a lot of money to Apple, but we’re sure other manufacturers would love to keep that to invest in new technologies or even just to pad their bottom lines.

Source: DealDan

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • ranwanimator

    Costs that are passed on gloriously to the consumer.

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      So true…

    • ArticulateFool

      Legal department overhead… This single case won’t make a noticeable difference in product price.

      It is interesting to hear estimates relating to these patent wars though.

      • thekaz

        you are probably correct that a single case won’t make much difference (especially since the markup on their products is already so high), but budgeted or not, the money has to come from somewhere…

      • epps720

        Then again this is only for one case, but look how many law suits Apple has made across the board. I wouldn’t be surprised if the total fees are upwards of 5x that at this point.

    • R.S

      They are just trying to fulfill Steve Jobs’ wishes; “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank…”

      The first part already happened, now they are working on the second part.

      Too soon?

    • Jon Garrett

      they could have spent that $100 million on raises and better living conditions for the slaves in China who make their products.

    • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

      So THAT’S the reason for the Apple Tax!


    wow thats what you call a “HARD ON”.They obviously will go through whatever it takes to screww HTC and Android

  • Bryan Stoner

    Hahaha, little fuckers. 100$ mill for a simple update to be made. Whittle away your finances Apple. Quickly please. I don’t have all day. +1

    • spazby

      This will not even show up in their financial statements due to rounding..

      • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

        True, but this is just estimates for one case against HTC. Add up the dozens of cases Apple has pending against HTC, Motorola, Samsung and we could be talking about a half billion dollars. I don’t care how much money Apple has, if stock holders get disgruntled with how much money Apple is spending on legal battles without getting anything back for it, we could see the board force Apple to shift its focus.

  • triangle

    Nice job, Apple. Look at what spending all that money got you.

  • AppleFUD

    Well, it’s clear they don’t need to spend it on R&D for iOS these days–just copy Android. . .

    • kazahani

      I lol’d!

      Notification Center, anyone? I mean dear Lord, BlackBerry had this before iOS!

  • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

    Since the majority of Apple’s lawyers are probably employees, it’s all rounded off as a departmental expense.

  • Nathan D.

    Wow they lost more then they gain, and who said apple is smart.

  • Andy_jr

    I still love that picture!

    (Sorry for being OT.)

  • Jeff Pan

    Haha would they account for it in the Q1 numbers that Apple is gonna announce tomorrow? ;)

  • Chuxter

    These are 100 million reasons why I am not an Apple fine.

  • Chuxter

    These are 100 million reasons why I am not an Apple fan.

  • Jamaicakevkev

    Th question isn’t what Apple is spending for they have mobile profits essentially to themselves the question is what is it costing the competition to fight these lawsuits. My feeling was that was a 100 million well spent by apple for it forced HTC to s

  • mac08wrx

    I truly can’t stand Apple’s BS I truly am boycotting all of the product from that company.

    • AppleFUD

      Yeah, I’m with you! My first computer was a MacBook–back when it was just a gray scale screen lol.
      It crashed a lot!

      When Vista hit I thought about looking at a Mac but Win7 came out, then my Dad died–a true Mac lover. So, I had to clean up his MacBook Pro–I was shocked at just how shitty it was. The OS crashed frequently–and that’s when I only had apple software installed. The computer within 1.5 years required a new optical drive and logic board (mother board)–overall the quality of the materials and OS were shockingly poor considering how many PCs I could have purchased for the same price that would get the job done.

      Now apple goes on this hypocritical rant about android being a stolen product and suing anyone and everyone, topped off with iBooks Author EULA lock-in exclusivity?!?!?!?

      I won’t even consider anything that relates to apple–software, hardware, or anything else if it gives them a dime. They simply no longer exist in my mind.

  • logan

    FUCK APPLE …!!

  • rhy

    They could’ve used that money to build ipads in the US. What assholes. Foxconn should ensure we all boycott Apple for decades. Slavery is still wrong even in 2012.

  • Louis A

    $100 million just fight off competition. They should keep spending…that’s money they should have use to add on R&D. When Apple falls, they would wish they had spent the money wisely, bitches!!

  • http://theinternet-allofit.blogspot.com Jorge Branco

    Guaranteed the lawsuits hurt HTC a helluva lot more than they hurt apple

  • honourbound68

    I don’t know how Steve Jobs could believe that he can destroy Android. What a waste of money!

  • yankeesusa

    This in the end will hurt the consumer. Even if htc didn’t spend alot of money defending instead just focused on working around it, this will hurt the consumer sooner or later. All I know is that due to htc being for the consumer by updating their phones so rapidly I applaud htc for keeping it up even with all this chaos. At this point the only apple product I will ever use is a laptop. I really hope google steps in and starts helping all these manufacturers that keep using android.