Apple: Samsung Became The World’s Number One Smartphone Vendor By Copying Us

Apple: Samsung Became The World’s Number One Smartphone Vendor By Copying Us

Apple feels Samsung's "copycat products" have "massive, continuing harm" on its business.

It’s likely this would be an entirely different story if Steve Jobs was still at Apple’s helm, but the Cupertino company has now agreed to drop a number of its infringement claims against Samsung, roughly cutting the case in half, in a bid to ensure that a trial goes ahead this summer.

Likewise, Samsung has agreed to do the same — dropping five of its 12 complaints  — but both companies continue to bicker over the “copycat products” that have made Samsung the world’s number one smartphone vendor. 

Both companies seem to determined to get this case to court during this summer, according to FOSS Patents’s Florian Mueller, but they continue to argue over who infringes whose patents. Samsung claims that it only uses “innovative, independently developed technologies,” while Apple maintains that the Korean company wouldn’t be the number one in worldwide smartphones sales if it hadn’t have copied the iPhone.

Because Samsung has become so big, Apple says its infringements have “massive, continuing harm” on its business.

“While the parties have been readying the case for trial Samsung has vaulted into first place in worldwide sales of smartphones, with massive sales of its copycat products. Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s intellectual property has already resulted in damages that reach billions of dollars. […] It is critical to Apple to start trial on July 30, to put an end to Samsung’s continuing infringement.”

However, Samsung claims that Apple’s shortcomings have nothing to do with Samsung. It says Apple is “unable to compete in the marketplace,” and that it is instead seeking to compete with Samsung’s devices through “litigation, requesting injunctions against the full lineup of Samsung’s mobile phones and tablet products”

Samsung also says that “Apple has only been able to muster utility patents covering extremely minor user interface features, and design patents and trade dresses that offer far narrower protection than Apple urges.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook has made it clear that he doesn’t like litigation, and he’s prepared to settle these cases as long as he gets assurance that other companies will innovate independently rather than continually using Apple as their guide and inspiration. He has even agreed to meet with Samsung’s CEO on May 21 and 22 to discuss the case.

Both companies have narrowed their cases in an effort to speed up the trial process, but it’s still unclear when they will finally end up in court, or which company might come out on top. Mueller believes the judge will need to use summary judgements to further narrow each case, but he says it’s “virtually impossible” to call the outcome:

There’s a lot of diplomacy and politics involved here. But even between two companies from the same country, it would be virtually impossible to get a court to determine, ahead of summary judgment and a trial, that one party has a fundamentally better case, no matter how strong the indications may be.

  • J Christopher Doss

    I am as big of an Apple Fanboi as they come, but if the goal is to make money, and you can do it copying a successful model & survive the lawsuits that will follow, then they have found an effective way to do it. Quarterly statements don’t report on ethics. Apple sweatshops anyone?

  • James Anders

    This is a joke.  I mean why bother with patents at all if you can’t protect your intellectual property?

  • lwdesign1

    It’s a very disturbing deja vu from Microsoft essentially pirating the graphic user interface Apple had laboriously developed when they moved from MS DOS to Windows. Now it’s Samsung’s turn to be the pirate and take much of Apple’s amazing R&D in BOTH the iPhone and iPad, and produce knockoffs. It’s no surprise that Samsung’s phones have taken off in sales. Many of the phones are sold at a loss–either free or ridiculously inexpensive–and many non-discerning phone users buy because of price alone. However, these are the same people who were buying flip phones when that’s what Samsung, Nokia and Motorolla were building. 

    I’m pleasantly surprised that Microsoft ISN’T copying Apple and has come out with a completely unique OS for its new Windows Phone–even though it’s still an all-screen type of phone with a virtual keypad that Apple came out with. 
  • Tallest_Skil

    I am as big of an Apple Fanboi as they come, but if the goal is to make money, and you can do it copying a successful model & survive the lawsuits that will follow, then they have found an effective way to do it.

    Never mind that the entire world sees them as pirates, thieves, and subhumans, unworthy of making business arrangements with. Yeah, that’s “effective”, all right.

    Quarterly statements don’t report on ethics. Apple sweatshops anyone?

    YEAH! BECAUSE SAMSUNG SURE DOESN’T EMPLOY CHINESE WORKERS! BECAUSE APPLE HIRES FIVE YEAR OLD KIDS TO JUMP DIRECTLY INTO MACHINES. BECAUSE APPLE’S THE ONLY COMPANY THAT HAS THIRD-WORLD CONTRACTORS.
    Shut up.
  • Yikes1

    I wish that they’d stop using that image. If you are going to use a comparison image be sure that the scale between the two phones is accurate. 

    We get the point, Samesung copied Apple, but if the scale isn’t exactly perfect the Android fanboys get their nighties in a knot… our phone is entirely different because, you know… it’s a hair bigger.
    Sometimes I think that these sites intentionally use these images to get flame wars going and lots of hits.
  • Alexander530

    Samsung is the biggest copycat of them all. Samsung merely copies what’s out there. Just like what they used to do with Nokia. Although Nokia tolerated them.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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