Over the last 2 days I’ve read a lot of opinions on the interpretation of the Apple Samsung lawsuit findings. Robert Scoble being the brilliant and passionate technology maven that he is, wrote in my opinion the most accurate overview of the trial (Click here or below to see his post). He is a must follow on Google+, Facebook and across social media.
Below is a screen shot of his analogy of the lawsuit results. He nails it in his statement that simply for a penalty of $1.5 billion Samsung got to be the #2 mobile company leaving other competitors behind. Its true, in the murky world of business there is a lot of “borrowing” of ideas. Tom Peters called it “Creative Swiping” in his book: Thriving On Chaos. But Scoble is right. Its still a win for Samsung even as you see them opening stores like the one they just did in Australia that look like complete copies of the Apple Stores.
I learned this years ago when one of my newly formed startup companies hired 2 employees with non-compete agreements that recently left a competitor. The competitor had been pretty evil to the employees including not paying their last months wages, and we took a risk as we felt their contracts had been breached by the company. The company sued and we ended up winning. We still got soaked for our attorneys fees though and in the end we told the competitor that we considered it our “franchise fee.” We went on with the employees and built a top notch competitor to them. In hindsight it was worth the risk (Sidenote: the evil competitor later got busted by the State Attorney’s office).
Robert Scoble is dead on, Samsung will likely write it off as just a “franchise fee” AND it may have in the long term been CHEAPER than settling with Apple early on for a ‘per unit’ fee as Apple originally tried to negotiate. Apple offered Samsung $30/$40 per unit liscense in 2010 and with just with Samsung’s last 2 years of sales that license fee would have been a billion in and of itself. It would seem it was cheaper to be sued rather than be encumbered long term with a license fee. Samsung still wins and as Robert mentioned maybe other competitors are scratching their heads, HTC for sure. Blackberry and Nokia early on dismissed the first iPhone as being invalid while Samsung copied it and ran with it.
Samsung has made some great products that dont copy Apple lately like the Galaxy S3 that in my mind even as an Apple fan boy tempt me to switch sides. They can leap ahead if Apple stumbles and #2 aint bad.
Robert also nails it in his update at the bottom that reminds us that its great for Samsung’s full product line. “A rising tide lifts all boats” -John F Kennedy. If it increases Samsung’s sales across all of its product lines that $1.5 billion dollar lawsuit doesnt seem all that big. Another lesson for the pages of business books and theorists to pour over. Who wins? Only time will tell. In the meantime follow Robert Scoble on social media, he’s a super smart genius and all around nice guy.