Samsung says Apple sent letters to carriers and retailers demanding they stop selling Galaxy phones and tablets
Following the injunction Apple won against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus, Samsung claims Apple sent letters to carriers and retailers demanding they stop selling the enjoined products. According to FOSS Patents, the letters went out on June 28 and July 7 respectively.
Samsung claims that "Apple’s menacing letters greatly overreach, incorrectly claiming that third-party retailers are subject to the prohibitions of the preliminary injunction, which they clearly are not". In Samsung's opinion, "they are permitted to sell their existing inventory, even without a stay". However, both preliminary injunctions clearly relate not only to Samsung's employees, agents etc. (including its subsidiaries and "partners") but also to "those acting in concert with any of them".
Alex Dobie from our Mobile Nations sibling site, Android Central, added:
People close to the matter at Best Buy and Wal-Mart tell us that they've been complying with the order regardless of Apple's aggression. One such source told us, "We had planned to remove the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from the shelves the evening the news [of the injunction] broke, and we received word from our district manager to go forward with the plan immediately."
Apple and Samsung have been engaged in a global patent war that would be almost comedic if it weren't so tragic. Ultimately, courts will either invalidate the patents, deny damages, throw cases out, or order one rich company to pay another rich company, but in the meantime fear, uncertainty, and doubt will plague consumers.
As long as the patent office spits out silly patents, and courts provide injunctive relief, and corporations have a duty to shareholders to compete in the market, situations like this will keep occurring, lawyers will keep getting faster cars, and consumers will keep getting caught in the middle.
I've already expressed the opinion that Google, as platform owner, should have done more to prevent and protect Android manufacturers and partners from litigation, and Android Central has provided a ton of sane, balanced coverage as well. There's one point that came up on last week's Android Central podcast, however, that I think deserves some more attention:
That Apple is litigating out of fear of competition.
Apple is most certainly competitive, and litigation and innovation are both competitive tools, but Apple makes such a disproportionate amount of profits in the smartphone space that, despite Android and Samsung's market share, Apple still has limited financial competition in the industry. In tablets, especially when the global market is considered, Apple still has no competition. While that could change, and market share momentum can lead to profit share increases, it would be a mistake to assume Apple's patent and trade-dress claims are merely out of fear for Android's future success.
Rightly or wrongly -- and intelligent adults can engage in civilized discourse over the merits of both arguments -- Apple felt betrayed by Microsoft, a former partner who they see as having ripped them off and denied them their due in the PC era. It's hard not to imagine that hasn't fueled their "thermonuclear" reaction to history repeating itself with Google in mobile.
Because as much as public companies are driven by shareholder value, they're run by people.