[Editor’s Cut] Patent war betw. Samsung and Apple, where is the exit?


Last Christmas holidays, I saw the movie ‘Intern’. In fact, I watched this movie last fall with my junior reporters. This time, I closely catched this video playing forward and reward.

As I saw the movie at first, a prop symbolizing Robert De Niro’s old fashion offended the eye. The logo ‘SAMSUNG’ on his old folder phone was sharper than necessary. It oddly contrasted with the iPhone, iPad and MacBook owned by young CEO, Anne Hathaway.

류경동-08-610x1024Just then, I got the news that Apple had asked US court to make Samsung pay $180 million more in patent dispute.

Looking back, Samsung's prime time was in 2011. August that year the German court banned sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab. Two months later Samsung’s injunction that Apple’s product should be banned was not granted in Netherland. Apple was also in favor of Samsung in Australia.

At this point, the momentum was shifting. But Samsung patent team shouted of “Keep going”. Of course, there are so many global ICT player like Google, Microsoft behind Samsung and Apple. That’s why we call it ‘proxy war’. So it was not easy to stop the war by their own hands.

Even so, Samsung was able to end the war if the best decision-maker had determined it. There was not any proof that Mr. Lee, chairman of Samsung showed the interest or any direction to the problem.

삼성-애플 소송On the other hand, after Steve Jobs died in October of that year, Apple was quickly responsive to the patent litigation under Tim Cook leadership. Jobs said during his lifetime to see the Samsung smartphones “They copied us.” he got angry. Cook had also mentioned “If someone steal our patent, we’ll pursue till the end.” The correspondence between both sides shows ‘strange contrast’ as the film did.

Eventually Mr. Shin, President of Samsung proceeded to negotiate with Tim Cook, however, it was too late.

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By this time I was in charge of foreign news at The Electronic Times. So I was able to compare the incompatible reactions between domestic and foreign media.

Advertising blitz of Samsung appealing to patriotism succeeded in creating a national public engagement as ‘Samsung is a victim’. I feel I was guilty of that situation.

Some people say that Samsung took the global marketing effectiveness through the patent war against Apple. However, I do not agree with it. Even if Samsung could be an issue maker once, they has had to be with the label of Copycat and Liar.

It means very insulting remarks in the business world of United States, Europe and other developed countries. The failure in image making has led losses in market share of smartphones in EU and US.

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At the end of last year, four of Samsung patents team executive got fired. Most of them were in charge of applications, not legal dept. It means they’re going to keep going on letigation.

Now is the time for exit. Fortunately,  ‘Love line’ between Samsung and Apple is still alive . Some, such as semiconductor division has maintained a cooperative relationship while fighting each other. It should be used by the arbitrator(ice breaker). No more proxy war. Vice President, Lee Jae-yong should finish it.

I could tell that it’s not everything to take a long race.

Kdong Yoo, editor-in-chief IPnomics


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