Presently the hurdle for recovery of legal fees in the U.S. is extraordinarily high: courts do sometimes award attorneys' fees, but only in "exceptional" cases. Shortly before midnight on Thursday, Apple made a filing in its first litigation with Samsung in the Northern District of California, arguing that Samsung's intentional infringement of Apple's intellectual property makes this litigation an exceptional case in which an award of attorneys' fees is warranted even though it's not the norm in the U.S. under current rules. Apple is seeking to recover from Samsung $15,736,992 ($15.7 million) out of more than $60 million spent in attorneys' fees on the first California case (which involved two trials: the original trial in August 2012 and a retrial in November 2013, resulting in a total damages award of more than $929 million).
The $15.7 million in legal fees is about 1/3 of Apple's fees from the start of the dispute until March 1, 2013. Apple isn't seeking recovery for the costs of the retrial and it only lists fees of timekeepers who billed more than $100,000. FOSS Patents also relays that "no fees from Apple’s successful defense against Samsung’s claims are included".
Apple argues that it should be able to recovery some attorney fees because infringement was found on 26 out of 28 accused products, "Samsung's willful, deliberate, and calculated copying of Apple's iPhone makes this an 'exceptional case'", Samsung has had a huge commercial benefit from its intentional infringemet, and "by seeking only one-third of its fees from timekeepers who billed more than $100,000, Apple ensures that it is not recovering fees for its unsuccessful claims concerning the unregistered combination iPhone trade dress or for tablet design."
Many more details in the full report linked below...