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.(s AAPL)
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?