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Summary:

Samsung has already experienced the worst case scenario in going head-to-head with Apple and has been tagged with a billion-dollar verdict. The company has so little to lose now that it’s not at all surprising Samsung says it has no plans to settle like HTC.

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Samsung’s reputation for copying apparently doesn’t extend to its legal team. On Wednesday a Samsung executive let it be known that his company would not be following in HTC’s footsteps and settling its patent disputes with Apple.

HTC agreed to a broad licensing agreement with Apple over the weekend that put aside all their patent disputes for 10 years. J.K. Shin, who leads Samsung’s mobile division, told the AFP on Wednesday, “We have no such intention” of settling like HTC did.

Which: duh. If Samsung was going to settle this dispute, it should have done so long ago. It has already experienced the worst-case scenario in going head-to-head with Apple in the courtroom. It lost its U.S. case and was tagged with a $1 billion verdict. The public relations damage from being called a copycat by a jury has already been done. Investors and customers have already had to process what the huge damages bill would mean to the company’s finances and prospects for building future products. None of this can really be undone.

Looking at the overall dispute, things have actually not been all bad for Samsung, either. In other countries, Samsung has had better luck, winning the dismissal of patent disputes with Apple in both the Netherlands and Japan and getting a U.K. judge to side with it on the “copying” charge. On the business side, the company continues to make a killing selling Android phones — and it’s the biggest smartphone brand in the world.

HTC, in contrast, was not in that same position. The company’s market share was shrinking and it has been obvious for a while that HTC is having a difficult time making money selling Android devices.

Samsung doesn’t have much more to lose by going forward with its appeal of the U.S. verdict. So why back down now?

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr user familymwr

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  1. I don’t know that I’d agree w/ your characterization of the US case as “worst-case scenario” since the verdict was appealed. Perhaps should the appeal be denied & Samsung be forced to fork over the award, then I might call it a worst-case outcome. In that one case.
    In the most recent complete FY (ending 12/31/11), Samsung had an overall profit of > $10B. So I believe that the hit to Samsung’s image/PR is greater than the hit to its finances. My $.02.

  2. samsung sucks with their cheap plastic knockoffs!

  3. Peter Pottinger Thursday, November 15, 2012

    The truth is samsung doesn’t really care about the annoying fly on its back.

  4. Samsung can stick it to Apple. And unlike Apple, Samsung’s product and manufacturing portfolio goes far beyond tech gadgets. It’s good that they jacked up silicon prices and made Cupertino pay more. The real loser here is Apple, because while they may be forced to hunt for an alternative parts supplier that doesn’t exist, at the end of the day the consumer ends up having a choice.

    What Samsung has shown is that lawsuits are not just futile, but do little to stifle competition or progress. That $1B verdict the article author so flamboyantly boasts is non-binding has been appealed. The handsets mentioned in that case are also all older models the outcome of which has no bearing on current smartphones being sold.

    As fast as Apple has risen, the harder it will fall when companies like Samsung prove that lawsuits and dubious patent claims fail over the long-term. The strategy of overcharging for cheaply-made products and pushing that excess into attorneys pockets to hold up the company is Steve Job’s recipe for failure, not success. Apple may call Samsung a copycat, as could Goodyear Michelin, but there’s nothing innovative about a company that uses legal muscle to distort it’s market advantage.

    As for HTC, they need to go back to doing what they did best – killer Windows smartphones! Where’s that Touch Pro 3???

  5. The verdict could be turned over, Apple will not see a dime. BUT it doesn’t matter GNote and S3 are just killing iphone5 with Android OS, wooo Apple unthinkable iOS6 is the worst thing

  6. As for the ‘copycat’ allegations by Apple, only in California has that stuck and even that is on shaky ground pending a better than 50/50 chance of appeal. The rest of the world’s judicial system told Apple to stop whining. The customers ( who are the deciding factor on whether Samsung is a copycat) have decided overwhelmingly that Samsung is doing just fine with innovation and really don’t care whether their devices are similar or not similar to Apple’s iPhone, iPad or whatever iDevice Apple throws in next.
    All Apple is doing is advertising all of Samsung’s premier devices that Apple feels are similar to their portfolio. Samsung spent over $2.5Billion in advertising in 2012 and the extra $1 Billion from this case for Apple to inadvertently advertise Samsung’s products while paint themselves as big bad patent bullies is well worth the cost to Samsung. As the ad goes it’s priceless…

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