By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has paid its leading outside law firm approximately $60 million to wage patent litigation against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in a California federal court, according to Apple legal documents filed late on Thursday.
Apple and Samsung are engaged in global litigation over each other's intellectual property. The two mobile technology rivals have gone to trial twice in the last two years in a San Jose, California federal court, and juries have awarded Apple a total of roughly $930 million.
In court filings, Apple asked U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to order Samsung to pay $15.7 million of the total amount Apple has spent in legal fees.
"Awarding fees to Apple 'flows quite naturally' from the jury's willfulness verdict as well as Samsung's extensive record of willful, deliberate, and calculated decisions to copy the iPhone, in blatant disregard for Apple's IP," Apple's attorneys said in its filing.
Apple could not immediately be reached for comment, and Samsung declined to comment.
In its fee motion, Apple said it has paid the Morrison & Foerster law firm approximately $60 million through last month, not counting lawyers who had billed less than $100,000 on the case.
Apple received "a significant discount" on Morrison & Foerster's standard rates, it said, because of its longtime client relationship with the firm. In addition, Apple expected to pay its other main outside firm, WilmerHale, approximately $2 million in fees for a week-long damages retrial that took place last month.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc vs. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, 11-1846.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)