In our article – Ban Samsung Products from the USA – we discussed the high tech patent wars occasioned by the Google sponsored Android platform. It turns out that Samsung lost the law suit in California while winning one in Korea. Surprised? Anyway Apple is drawing up a laundry list of products that it wants Samsung banned from selling the USA. Many are old products. The newest Samsung smart phone was not even included in the law suit. So, what are Samsung losses from the patent suit? Best estimates are that Samsung will lose about two percent of its current revenue stream if it has to take a whole raft of old products off the shelves in America. Samsung losses from the patent suit are greater when measured in prestige and pride. The jury’s verdict was clear in that Samsung willfully copied Apple designs in building its smart phones. But Samsung losses from the patent suit will drift into memory in the new future. Then what?
Is Google Really the Target?
Samsung losses from the patent suit may translate into losses for Google. With their victory in the patent suit in California as precedent Apple may well cross the USA and world looking for folks to sue. This could be a short term money maker for Apple if companies have to pay fines and take their products off the shelf. It could be a long term profit maker if companies choose to pay for the use of Apple patents instead of fighting. The Google purchase of Motorola Mobility was supposed to provide Google with a patent trove that would protect them from such patent suits. However, when Samsung fills its emails with direct references to Apple products during the design phase of their products there is little hope. Somebody at Google and at their various affiliates making smart phones and other devices need to go back to the drawing board and think up attractive and functional designs that are not look-alike copies of Apple products. That would be a good result of all this.
Is There a Future of Diversity in All This?
Maybe Samsung losses from the patent suit will get them to come up with their own research and designs so that Apple will not have grounds to sue them as well as half the world over patent infringement. It would be nice to see a larger variety of options for how hand held devices operate instead of seeing all of them copy I Pods, I Pads, and whatever else Apple comes up with. Currently Apple is a good stock investment as the stock rides higher on the success of the law suit. However, Samsung will not lose a lot of money from this experience and it will gain incentive to clean up its R&D act so as not to return to a Silicon Valley court room in the near future. Although they won in Korea playing on Apple’s home turf was never a very good idea in the first place.