On the sidelines of the latest round of hearing between Apple and Samsung for patent infringement claims, Vanity Fair has come up with a damning report of Samsung’s history of cheating, stealing patents, stalling hearings with counter claims and appeals and only settling when it runs out of arguments or when it is dominating an industry. Also Read - iPhone 12 for iPhone 11 launch price at Flipkart sale, iPhone 12 Mini for less than Rs 60,000
The report highlights how Samsung infringed on Sharp’s LCD patents and the Japanese television giant sued the Korean electronics company in 2007. However, by the time Samsung settled in 2009, it already had a 23.6 percent share of the global TV market while Sharp was left with just 5.4 percent. Also Read - iPhone 13 to come with faster charging as compared to iPhone 12
Similarly with Pioneer, who sued Samsung in 2006 for infringing its plasma TV technology. A jury finally awarded Pioneer $59 million but Samsung appealed. Eventually Pioneer settled with Samsung in 2009 but had to shut down its TV business in 2010. Also Read - Apple TV Plus for free: PS5 owners get six months subscription free of cost
The report suggests Samsung’s disregard for others’ intellectual property and its unwillingness to cough up royalties for patented technology even when others in the industry pay for it. It shows how InterDigital was forced to take Samsung to court and how the Korean giant settled for $400 million only when there were chances of its popular phones getting banned from being imported in the US.
The report shows how Samsung plays its stalling tactics while churning out products that continue to use the claimed infringing patents or technologies in its products that are usually priced lower than the company that originally invented it. It suggests that Samsung would continue to appeal or file counter claims until it is forced into a corner or it reaches a point when its products could be banned from selling. Until that time comes, Samsung would own the market and the eventual settlement won’t have an effect on its market position.
Samsung is playing with the same playbook with Apple. It has been three years since Apple has been fighting Samsung in courts around the world without any significant success. Apple was awarded approximately $900 million in an earlier hearing but Samsung’s appeal ensures that there will be many more rounds of hearing before Apple sees any cash coming its way.
While the lawsuits are being heard, evidence is being displayed – including an internal Samsung presentation running into over 100 slides comparing minute details of the iPhone, how it is better than Samsung’s phones and how Samsung should have something similar – Samsung continues to grow stronger in the smartphone space. Not only is it the largest smartphone vendor in the world, but it ships more smartphones than the next four smartphone players – including Apple.
Eventually, a day would come when Samsung would settle with Apple. But it seems it is already too late for Apple to become the number one smartphone player again.