Monday, August 27, 2012

Apple, Samsung, and Google differ on meaning of patent lawsuit decision

Samsung and Apple - and even Android creator Google - have decidedly different views of the patent infringement decision rendered by a jury last Friday. That decision, which awarded Apple over $1 billion in damages, was applauded by Apple and harangued by Samsung, while Google took a "wait and see" attitude.

On Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out an email to Apple employees that said that last Friday "values won." He said,

"For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy."

On Monday, however, Samsung publicized an internal memo it sent to its own employees. Samsung had a decidedly different take on the matter.

The company claimed that Apple was prioritizing litigation over innovation. Android fans have claimed that Apple, losing to Android globally, has decided to fight in the courts, rather than in the minds of consumers.

There's no doubt, as well, that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs' comment about "going thermonuclear on Android," which he said was a stolen product, stands out in the minds of many.

Samsung said, in part,

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

Samsung is currently the world's biggest mobile phone - not just smartphone - maker.

Google, which is behind the Android platform - period - rather than being an OEM that embeds the platform into its products, like Samsung, HTC, or Motorola, said that the patent claims, or at least "most of them," don't involve the "core Android operating system."

Google's full statement:

"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."

Yep, notably, both Google and Samsung used the term "innovate." Still, the patent war goes on globally. In South Korea, on Friday, Apple and Samsung split a decision, with a court deciding they both infringed on each other's patents.

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