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  • Samsung Reportedly Utilizes Patent Infringement as a Business Tactic


    On the day that a San Jose jury submitted a final verdict on the damages that Samsung owes Apple in the second United States patent infringement lawsuit between the two companies, Vanity Fair has published a lengthy piece that takes a look at Samsung’s long and successful history of using patent infringement as a business tactic.

    Previously, in 2010, before Apple filed an initial lawsuit against Samsung, executives from Apple met with Samsung executives in Seoul, where it was made clear by Samsung VP Seungho Ahn if Apple chose to pursue a lawsuit, Samsung would countersue with its own patents. Ahn told Chip Lutton, an Apple lawyer at the time, the following regarding the matter:

    We've been building cell phones forever. We have our own patents, and Apple is probably violating some of those.
    As it turns out, stealing key ideas from other companies and then using its own portfolio of patents to draw out lawsuits is a tactic that Samsung used long before Apple came into the picture. The following was mentioned regarding the matter:

    According to various court records and people who have worked with Samsung, ignoring competitors' patents is not uncommon for the Korean company. And once it's caught it launches into the same sort of tactics used in the Apple case: countersue, delay, lose, delay, appeal, and then, when defeat is approaching, settle.
    Back in 2007, Sharp filed a lawsuit against Samsung, alleging that the South Korean company violated its patents. Samsung countersued, drawing out the lawsuit as it continued to produce TV sets using the stolen technology, building up its TV business. Samsung was found guilty of patent infringement years later in 2009, at which point it settled with Sharp to avoid an import ban.

    A similar story apparently occurred with Pioneer, who filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung over plasma television technology in 2006. Samsung countersued, dragged on litigation and appeals until a 2009 settlement. The long and expensive legal battle caused Pioneer to shut down its television business while Samsung thrived. Samsung has supposedly pulled the same tactic on Kodak, Apple and several other technology companies as well. The following was mentioned regarding the matter:

    Bit by bit, the new model for a Samsung smartphone began to look--and function--just like the iPhone. Icons on the home screen had similarly rounded corners, size, and false depth created by a reflective shine across the image. The icon for the phone function went from being a drawing of a keypad to a virtually identical reproduction of the iPhone's image of a handset. The bezel with the rounded corners, the glass spreading out across the entire face of the phone, the home button at the bottom--all of it almost the same.
    After the release of the Galaxy S lineup, Samsung’s refusal to sign licensing agreements with Apple due to its former history of successfully avoiding significant penalties for copying intellectual property, Apple filed its first lawsuit against Samsung. Subsequently Samsung followed, leading to where we are today. Samsung has thus far been ordered to pay Apple just over a billion dollars in the United States after two lawsuits, but appeals are far from over. In the meantime, Samsung has continued to develop its Galaxy line of devices and has cemented itself as Apple’s biggest competitor. The following was mentioned regarding the matter:

    Meanwhile, as has happened with other cases where Samsung violated a company's patents, it has continued to develop new and better phones throughout the litigation to the point where even some people who have worked with Apple say the Korean company is now a strong competitor on the technology and not just a copycat anymore.
    Those of you interested in the topic should hit the source link below and read the full story.

    Source: Vanity Fair
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Samsung Reportedly Utilizes Patent Infringement as a Business Tactic started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. tridley68's Avatar
      tridley68 -
      so they have been infringing on others companies patents for sometime it is just Apple has the money and the balls to call them on it I still think the $119.625.000.00 settlement was a little low but anything is better than nothing hit them where it hurts apple .
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      No- Sharp and Pioneer clearly sued them as well.

      This must be a real blow to the fanboys who keep posting here that Apple is a bully and is lawsuit-happy. Isn't it terrible when the truth trumps an opinion?

      Now we can get ready for a slew of posts denying this story, stating that Apple IS lawsuit-happy and a bully, and this story proves nothing. Just like American politics, ignore reality, trumpet your talking points, plough on even in the face of clear evidence that you are wrong.
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      I guess nobody remembers Samsuck in their early days in America where they produced crap like the Coby of today. It was low end bargain crap. Good thing they were able to steal all they're tech off the backs of the developers of said tech. Modern day pirates.
    1. bigbaba's Avatar
      bigbaba -
      I think the money isn't important to Apple. Even if they had won the 2 billion dollar settlement it's pocket change for both companies. The more important win in this case is the judgement for both sides.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Quote Originally Posted by tridley68 View Post
      so they have been infringing on others companies patents for sometime it is just Apple has the money and the balls to call them on it I still think the $119.625.000.00 settlement was a little low but anything is better than nothing hit them where it hurts apple .
      Agreed. They shouldn't just ocnsider the phones that directly benefited, but all the products that have indirectly benefited since then. Samsung entire modern smartphone lineup is built on stolen IP, and because of that, the entire line should be considered when damages are calculated.

      Basically, the only acceptable amount is an amount that will bring down the entire line and force Samsung to start from scratch, or at the very least, an import ban on all Samsung handsets into the US and countries with patent agreemants and treaties until Samsung comes up with an entirely original product from the iPhone and it's own phones back to the original Galaxy S.
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      BFD. The way I see it, 80 years ago they were battling with war, rape and pillage; now it's courtrooms. Progress made.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      While the lawsuits are drawn out Samsung makes more money in that period of time to easily cover the settlement plus some, it's ridiculous! I'm glad Apple is getting a piece of them with this lawsuit, though it may not make a difference in the long run Apple is protecting what's there's and proving that Samsung does steal. I hope more people start to understand that how low of a company Samsung really is, they don't innovate, they steal!
    1. novadam's Avatar
      novadam -
      Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
      BFD. The way I see it, 80 years ago they were battling with war, rape and pillage; now it's courtrooms. Progress made.
      isn't this pillaging?
    1. kalpesh78's Avatar
      kalpesh78 -
      @steve-z17. They do innovate. Innovate new ideas on how to steal. I'm sure they have a department called Research and steal (R&S)
    1. cjgonzales1900's Avatar
      cjgonzales1900 -
      The difference between the past lawsuits and counter suits. Apple will not settle, they have the money to keep fighting until they get what they want. Those other companies settled or ran out of money to fight the lawsuits which we know apple won't run out of anytime soon and they don't settle. I am sure Apple will win against Samsung and get what they want out of these lawsuits.