Samsung and patent settlements: Why pay for the cow when you can have the milk for free?

Samsung and patent settlements: Why pay for the cow when you can have the milk for free?

In the wake of HTC settling their patent litigation with Apple, likely by agreeing to pay a per-handset licensing fee to Apple, Samsung has come out and said they won't be doing likewise any time soon. That, according to J.K. Shin of Samsung Mobile. The AFP reports:

"We have no such intention," J.K. Shin, the head of Samsung Electronics' mobile unit, told reporters on Wednesday when asked if Samsung would seek a similar settlement.

Samsung lost a $1 billion verdict to Apple in U.S. courts, but international courts haven't held Samsung anywhere near as accountable for their early copying of Apple devices, and Apple has been on the receiving end of some punishment themselves.

Samsung has since gone in their own direction, but benefited hugely from fielding iPhone-like devices on, at the time, non-iPhone carriers like Verizon. "No, we don't have the iPhone, but we have this and it's just like the iPhone!"

Being Apple without being Apple led to Samsung becoming far and away the leading Android phone vendor by market share, and there's likely no amount of wrist-slapping that with level the playing field for vendors like HTC and Motorola which chose to field more unique, more authentic products from the get-go.

HTC doesn't have the massive consumer products bank account of Samsung, or the Google backing of Motorola, so their risk assessment probably swayed them into settling with Apple. Samsung has the money to fight in court, and while they blatantly and embarrassingly copied Apple in the early days, it turns out that might not have been illegal -- it might just have been brilliant. With rivals like HTC now stuck paying licensing fees to Apple, Samsung's lead could grow even larger.

Why pay for the cow when you can have the milk for free?

Source: AFP

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 18 comments. Add yours.

emjayess says:

FYI: An excellent recent article on the history of the patent wars and how we got to today's situation: http://www.citypages.com/2012-11-07/news/patent-war-brews-big-bucks/

okli says:

FYI???...I was working for Korean companies for over 20 years... bin there many times... they lay and cheat and think they are the greatest in everything ...but only... what they are really good in... is: ...eating dogs and copy-cats ... believe me ...DUDE... everyone buying their's products is a nasty dog killer !!!

okli says:

"Samsung has since gone in their own direction,"......WHAT... GS III is OWN DIRECTION ??? Rene U mean: copying iPhone 3G/3GS... became indeed their's own direction NOW !!!

et20 says:

Whoever said crime doesn't pay was either an idiot or just naive.

Dev from tipb says:

Why buy the cow when the cow is claiming ownership over goat's milk, or really, all foodstuffs derived from a mammalian base?

fightcrazy says:

I laugh when I read some of your articles. You keep writing fiction and it seems Many of your fans seem to agree. Having owned the I-phone and gave it to my daughter, I know am a very loyal Android user. Following the history in mobile phones and watching how the I-phone seemed to come about after some great hardware before them, it would seem that Apple copied or received allot of help from these other devices before them. Because Apple has sat back on it's butt and is very scared of Google and Android, they have lost their ability to innovate. The current case against Samsung will be overturned and Apple better have something new and fresh because the only company doing anything new is Samsung. Innovation is why they are selling phones, not copying Apple. If any I-phone user mixes up the two phones they are legally blind. You should be ashamed of these pathetic articles, reading them you think they are coming from a young child who just saw the next door neighbor get a new bicycle better than his.

Quaker Otis says:

Samsung copied Apple. If the case gets thrown, it will be because of juror misconduct. Apple innovated and Google copied them. The devices in question clearly showed the infringement. Since that time, Samsung has moved in another direction.
The market is maturing. Use what is comfortable for you to use.
Apple innovates plenty. Samsung commoditizes.

Roboticz says:

And Santa Claus and the Tooth fairy are real. Come on man!

paleh0rse says:

Apple hasn't done anything truly innovative with the iPhone or iPad since the first generation of each.

And no, a "magical" fifth row of icons doesn't count...

Roboticz says:

So when somebody tells the truth they are suddenly a troll???

Hellpop says:

Even a child can see phones before 2007 and phones after the iphone: flip and keypad based structures versus what all smart phones look like today - like the original iphone. From that point on there has been innovation outside of Apple, but to say that there has not been any influence let alone infringement is pretty petty.

autoy says:

You're not going to get any credit if you keep on saying I-phone. In fact, I don't believe a word you say because of this.

okli says:

Hey... AndroTroll... U just hit the wrong button... DUDE...didn't ya... so crawl beck to Ur green plastic garbage bin and enjoy the sweet waste over there...
I was working for Koreans for over 20 years... bin there many times... they think they are
the greatest in everything ...but only, what they are really good in... is: eating dogs and copy-cats ... believe me ... everyone who byes their's products is a nasty... DOG KILLER

kullkid92x says:

Rene you could not be serious to say that Samsung has so much market share because they made similar hardware to apple like 2 years ago? dude since the galaxy 2 their marketing has been impressive, the Olympics marketing was the icing on the cake. C'mon man.