The real cost of Apple's patent fight

A win for Apple's will cost Samsung a lot more that $US2.5 billion and could put large swathes of the smartphone industry at risk of serious legal troubles.

Between the hotshot designers and brainy engineers Apple Inc questioned for three weeks in the company's bitterly fought patent battle against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, a marketing expert from MIT took Apple's lawyers all of three minutes.

But the testimony from MIT Professor John Hauser cuts to a central dilemma in the smartphone patent wars. What is a single nifty feature worth? Hauser's answer: exactly $39 per phone for a device that recognises a second finger on the touchscreen.

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