Business & Practice

On Samsung’s eDiscovery Costs

July 9, 2015, 8:13 PM

Apple and Samsung’s courtroom patent battles have been well-covered in the media, but it’s less well-known that the companies spent tens of millions of dollars on the eDiscovery in these cases.

In a blog post earlier this week, Logikull, a cloud-based eDiscovery vendor, noticed that Samsung in 2014 reported at least $13.1 million in eDiscovery costs in its second trial. Moreover, it recovered only two percent of this amount, $262,000.

In the case, Apple asserted Samsung infringed on five of its patents, including its signature slide to unlock feature, while Samsung accused Apple of infringing two of its patents, including remote video transmission. Because Samsung prevailed on one of its claims, it sought cost recovery, including for eDiscovery as allowed under local rules.

Samsung paid $13.1 million to eDiscovery vendor UBIC to collect and process 11.1 million documents, according to a declaration by Michael Fazio, an attorney for Samsung at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which lays out all the details (courtesy of Bloomberg Law) . It then produced eight percent or 880,000 of those documents to Apple.

Each document had about 10 pages, which meant Samsung produced 8.6 million pages to Apple.

[Image “SamsungChart2" (src=https://bol.bna.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SamsungChart2.png)]

To calculate what costs are recoverable under the rules in the Northern District of California, Fazio explains that the costs for all processed documents was $6.5 million. Because only eight percent of all documents were produced to Apple, it asked for only eight percent of $6.5 million or $524,000, which works out to a cost of about six cents per page produced.

[Image “ChartSamsung” (src=https://bol.bna.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ChartSamsung.png)]Samsung only asked for half of this amount, $262,000, however, because only some of the documents produced related to the claim it won.

Fazio declined to comment, and it is unclear how much Samsung spent on document review. As Logikull points out, document review typically accounts for the vast majority of eDiscovery costs. In fact, a widely cited 2012 study by the Rand Institute of Civil Justice looked at 57 cases from state and federal courts around the country, and found that in cases where there were significant data sets, document review accounted for at least 70 percent of all costs.

A spokesperson for Samsung declined to comment and Fazio did not respond to a request for comment for this article.

In this case, it is somewhat ambiguous if Fazio includes document review in the $13.1 million total cost. Logikull suggests the $13.1 million only represents 30 percent of the total eDiscovery costs and the other 70 percent was spent on document review. That would mean the total eDiscovery costs would balloon to $43.67 million — a giant figure by any standard.

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