Apple Vs Samsung – Never Mind The Customer, Eh?

So I just heard the news that Apple got richer by a billion dollars , and Samsung has to pay up that money for patent infringements. Well, Apple did not get the whole amount it was seeking, but $1B is not too shabby. Since the Jurors only took under 3 days to decide on the case – I think Apple’s lawyers probably did an incredible job convincing them. Maybe they and other lawyers with similar expertise will see a bull market now for their skills and experience .

More than the $1B they got from the ruling – there are many benefits AAPL would get from this ruling.

Good press is not something AAPL is short on . The cult following they have will make sure that this will be hailed as a huge win for innovation, honesty, higher standards and so on. If Oracle or someone similar sued a competitor and won, they will probably never get the same opportunity to milk mileage out of it in internet and press. Such is life 🙂

AAPL would have also successfully scared several “innovative” competitors in their markets. Some version of this trial is bound to play in most countries . Patent laws apparently differ across the world, so who knows how this will net out after lawyers on both sides play several innings each. And of course there is the appeals process too. It will be a while before dust settles. I am not sure if this win for AAPL also gets them an ongoing royalty revenue stream from Samsung.

What about customers though? $1B will not kill the Samsung company – but they will directly or indirectly pass the cost to customers going forward. I am a customer who prefers my samsung galaxy tab over an iPad, although I use an iPhone. Many friends and family members use samsung devices – and I wonder how many carriers will be now scared to keep a contract going with Samsung.

Well, Samsung also sued AAPL. That might get them back something – if not in money, then at least in good will. But I am not going to hold my breath on Samsung having a good chance to beat AAPL in US market in near future . That will be such a shame , if that is how it plays out.

For innovation to thrive, irrespective of final results of these battles in court – the patent system should be revamped and simplified. Legal innovation does not have the same effect as product innovation for us customers.




Published by Vijay Vijayasankar

Son/Husband/Dad/Dog Lover/Engineer. Follow me on twitter @vijayasankarv. These blogs are all my personal views - and not in way related to my employer or past employers

4 thoughts on “Apple Vs Samsung – Never Mind The Customer, Eh?

  1. Vijay- I agree with your statement ” Legal innovation does not have the same effect as product innovation for us customers.” Either in developed nations or in developing nations patent system is transparent.As we aware that Patents are country-specific, so much so that a person registering one in his home country has no choice but to also register it in all the countries where the product or process is likely to be used. Under WTO norms, dictated by the powerful Western world, the patent-holder enjoys monopoly rights over his invention for 20 years. However, patents have never conferred on a patent-holder the complete sense of security expected of them.

    And this is the case even in the US, what with its law permitting the relentless challenging of a patent throughout its life; that includes allowing one to use the Orange book for a facet of invention on which a patent has not been granted. Hence, a limited patent becomes a possibility.

    Apple constantly feels threatened by Samsung which, the former alleges, routinely comes out with cheaper versions of the former’s products within a short span of time after their launch. Small wonder the two are embroiled in a lot of litigation. Not long ago, Indian pharma companies were at the receiving end of the ire of American and European companies when the process patent regime ruled the roost in India, allowing the free play of reverse engineering.

    My opinion to solve these puzzles: companies can do patent Guarding by some sort just like Coca Cola did it in the past. But, it’s too difficult in some instance but it’s viable.



  2. The whole patent system (especially in USA) is a joke. It’s about time that law making gears up to the speed that technical innovation is moving at these days. The laws are so totally not right for their intended use.
    A patent for rounded corners? How the heck did that patent EVER get awarded?!


  3. n the apple vs Samsung case , Apple has been awarded $1Billion for patent infringement by Samsung . The case was filed at a place where Apple’s headquarters is a mere 10 miles from the courthouse, and jurors were picked from the heart of Silicon Valley where Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs is a revered technological pioneer.

    Samsung meanwhile has won the patent infringement case against Apple in Seoul , South Korea.

    This is the way the legal system works in the is all a hogwash in my opinion .


  4. Not sure if the cult like following will keep AAPL in the news but I would think there is a difference between consumers and enterprise customers and hence AAPL will get more press coverage than ORCL. Good point on the customer angle, but I also think customers will just move on; the device life is very limited anyway; remember the palm treo?


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