Samsung executive says $1 billion verdict was the worst case scenario, Google says it was more Samsung than Android

In the matter of Apple's $1 billion verdict over Samsung, we've already had two separate, yet equally important PR statements. Since then, a Samsung executive has said it's their worst case scenario, and Google, not surprisingly, has tried to keep Android well away from the fallout.

The unnamed Samsung executive was quoted by the Korea Times' Kim Yoo-chul:

``It’s absolutely the worst scenario for us,’’ a senior Samsung executive said as he rushed into the company’s compound in southern Seoul. Inside the building, Choi Gee-sung, former Samsung Electronics CEO and now the head of Samsung Group’s corporate strategy division, was holding an emergency meeting attended by Shin Jong-kyun, the company’s mobile devices chief, and Lee Dong-joo, lead marketing official.

Google's comments come by way of The Verge's Bryan Bishop:

The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims. Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office. The mobile industry is moving fast and all players — including newcomers — are building upon ideas that have been around for decades. We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that.

Normally I say the "it's not over, but if it is, it wasn't us it was them, but it it's not over" vibe feels remarkably close to Samsung's trial strategy of "we didn't copy, but if we did copy, Apple copied first, and who cares about copying anyway?" which gained zero traction, or dollars, from the jury. But what else can Google say at this point? Even if they indemnified Android, TouchWiz and the hardware are all Samsung's.

Google's relationship with Apple is probably still sub-optimal at the moment, but before the verdict sticks, doing everything they can to help lubricate a settlement wouldn't be a terrible idea.

Update: Samsung has made their own internal memo available via Samsung Today

We initially proposed to negotiate with Apple instead of going to court, as they had been one of our most important customers. However, Apple pressed on with a lawsuit, and we have had little choice but to counter-sue, so that we can protect our company.

Certainly, we are very disappointed by the verdict at the US District Court for the Northern District of California (NDCA), and it is regrettable that the verdict has caused concern amongst our employees, as well as our loyal customers.

However, the judge’s final ruling remains, along with a number of other procedures. We will continue to do our utmost until our arguments have been accepted.

The NDCA verdict starkly contrasts decisions made by courts in a number of other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Korea, which have previously ruled that we did not copy Apple’s designs. These courts also recognized our arguments concerning our standards patents.

History has shown there has yet to be a company that has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continuous growth, when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation.

We trust that the consumers and the market will side with those who prioritize innovation over litigation, and we will prove this beyond doubt.

Source: Korea Times, The Verge, Samsung Today

Rene Ritchie

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

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Reader comments

Samsung executive says $1 billion verdict was the worst case scenario, Google says it was more Samsung than Android

4 Comments

Seems Google is distancing from Samsung. Is the Nexus phone using the same bouncing effect, the same effect Samsung phones are copying?

Am I the only one thinking that Samsung was just a test with the court system and that Android is the real target? Does Google have a good "thermonuclear" shelter?

I think that all this is going to cause the patient office to take away a lot of the patients that are both Apple and Samsung's. Also, to me I think Apple is also digging their own grave. If they aren't careful they are going to be slapped with an anti-trust by the US Government. It's just a matter of time in my opinion.

Well said. I think Apple is very hypercritical seeing that someone else came up with the drop down notification bar. Without the current notification bar the iOS would be back in the stone ages. On top of that with its new maps no telling how many functions it will use that’s already covered by Google. Oh I forgot not all companies sue.