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The Great Apple-Samsung Legal War has been raging on for years now, and on a scale almost unprecedented in business history. The latest in the saga involves a California court awarding Apple $119.6 million in damages over Samsung patent infringement, a far cry from the $2 billion the iPhone maker was shooting for.

The ruling has prompted many watchers to question the wisdom of Apple’s thermonuclear war on Android. Adding the latest damages award on top of the $900+ million awarded to Apple from the first patent megatrial barely results in $1 billion. I’m certain this is the price Samsung is happy to pay for profiting from willfully lifting Apple’s patented iPhone technology.

But no amount of litigation will ever stop Android dead in its tracks, argues an attorney for Samsung who represents the South Korean conglomerate in the courtroom…

CNET has this quote by Samsung attorney John Quinn:

Up to this point, I think Apple really hadn’t given up hope [it] could cripple Android somehow. This has got to be the last straw. They’ve got to realize they’re not going to slow Android down by suing people.

And this:

They (Apple) have nothing to show for the hundreds of million of dollars they’ve spent. I’m sure they’re looking for a graceful exit. I’m pretty sure the Apple smartphone wars against Android are a thing with a limited future.

And the following line is gold.

“We do regard it as a win,” Quinn said. “Years into Apple’s holy war on Android, they haven’t collected a nickel.”

The nearly $1 billion in damages to Apple from the first trial “will be, if not reversed altogether, very substantially reduced,” Quinn believes.

“It’s kind of hard to talk settlement with a jihadist,” Quinn said, referring to a Steve Jobs email, revealed during the trial, that showed Apple’s co-founder had declared a “holy war” on Android.

“Even Apple, I think even [CEO] Tim Cook, has got to realize this is a fruitless endeavor. I think everyone’s tired of it. Reason must prevail at some point.”

What Quinn fails to mention is that these lawsuits are a matter of pride and principles for Apple. It’s never been about the money and Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged as much.

“For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money,” he wrote in an internal memo sent to troops in August 2012.

Commenting on the $119.6 million verdict, an Apple spokesperson said last week:

Today’s ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: That Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products.

The goal of all this, according to Apple’s statement, is to defend the hard work that goes into products “which our employees devote their lives to designing and delivering for our customers.”

Compared to the $2 billion damages fine Apple’s been asking for, the $119.6 award has probably decreased the market value of Apple’s patented inventions. Because of this, I don’t think Tim Cook & Co. have reasons to celebrate.

Apple vs Samsung (Apple before and after iPhone)

And if all Apple intented all along was to send a message to competitors that they’ll be dragged to court for even thinking about ripping off Apple wholesale as Samsung has done, I don’t think the Galaxy maker cares.

Keep in mind that the South Korean chaebol has been called by many the most corrupt corporation in the world, one that strives on willfully lifting other people’s work.

Samsung’s track record of patent infringement is actually part of its ruthless business tactics, according to the awesome Vanity Fair piece entitled ‘The Great Smartphone War’.

The key takeaway from the write-up is that neither Apple nor any other company has the right counter-strategy for Samsung’s shenanigans.

Here’s an excerpt from the article that I think captures the essence of just how thick-skinned Samsung’s leadership is:

After weeks of delicate dancing, of smiling requests and impatient urgings, Jobs decided to take the gloves off. Hence the meeting in Seoul.

The Apple executives were escorted to a conference room high in the Samsung Electronics Building, where they were greeted by about half a dozen Korean engineers and lawyers. Dr. Seungho Ahn, a Samsung vice president, was in charge, according to court records and people who attended the meeting.

After some pleasantries, Chip Lutton, then Apple’s associate general counsel for intellectual property, took the floor and put up a PowerPoint slide with the title “Samsung’s Use of Apple Patents in Smartphones.”

Then he went into some of the similarities he considered especially outrageous, but the Samsung executives showed no reaction. So Lutton decided to be blunt.

“Galaxy copied the iPhone,” he said.

“What do you mean, copied?” Ahn replied.

“Exactly what I said,” Lutton insisted. “You copied the iPhone. The similarities are completely beyond the possibility of coincidence.”

Ahn would have none of it. “How dare you say that,” he snapped. “How dare you accuse us of that!” He paused, then said, “We’ve been building cell phones forever. We have our own patents, and Apple is probably violating some of those.”

The message was clear. If Apple executives pursued a claim against Samsung for stealing the iPhone, Samsung would come right back at them with a theft claim of its own. The battle lines were drawn.

You must be as fed up with this litigation as I am, no? That being said, I do want to hear your thoughts on the matter.

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Would you agree with Quinn’s assessment that Apple’s Holy war on Android has a limited future? Should/will the two frenemies eventually settle out of court?

Chime in with your thoughts down in the comments.

  • ap3604

    “I’m guessing you’re as much fed up with this litigation as I am, but I still want to hear your thoughts on the matter.”

    You got that right!

    **** all these lawsuits over patents that shouldn’t have been granted in the first place. If Apple (or Samsung) want to win the smartphone war then they should do so by coming out with products which make people want to buy theirs over a similar competing product, not trying to sue everyone who comes up with something similar just to hold off market competition.

    Don’t like that another company came out with a similar looking product? Then quit whining to the judge and go innovate more, advertise better, or lower prices to give customers an incentive to buy your product over the other.

    • Jeffrey

      like a fingerprint sensor? which samsung copied? or like a 64 bit processor? which they copied? or more back in time, an implemented speech recognition software? which they also copied? or did you mean apps like the voice recorder app, passbook and the maps app, which samsung copied 1:1?

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        First of all a 64 bit isn’t own by anyone.

      • Jeffrey

        didn’t say that, it’s innovative

        EDIT: For a smartphone

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        Keyword Copied.

      • Jeffrey

        LOL it’s a term, not a name, get the difference?

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        Said keyword not key name so step down with your trolling. Just another iPhone fanboy who thinks one side did everything better. Stop judging and be in the middle. Because we all know what you said which 85% of it isn’t true.

      • Jeffrey

        i think you’re the only one who thinks that, there’s MORE than enough proof that samsung copies apple, there’s a whole list of things samsung clearly copied apple with. you can even look it up yourself! the tool i used for learning these facts is called ‘google’

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        You must be the type of guys who use google and Wikipedia for all your answers instead of getting it from the source. Such a iPhone fanboy. Like I said 64 bit isn’t copying you tool, as Samsung clearly didn’t copy that idea off of them. Also if you really want to get into who copy what there’s plenty of innovative things apple took from other smartphones and companies. Stop riding Apples d*ck for once and think like a normal person. You see why Android people hate Apple owners so much. Because people like you who like to pit one another against each other. Sit your little butt down and think about what you said. Think like a customer not a tool

      • Jeffrey

        samsung CLEARLY did, a few days after the 5s announcement, samsung announced that their future phones would feature a 64-bit processor, why?? because apple did too. apple did copy small things from other companies, but not huge features and even designs, if they are going to copy a feature, can’t they even design their own?? you are doing the same thing as apple fanboys, we hate on samsung fanboys, and you hate on apple fanboys. we have the same mentality but there is only one party that is right, and that’s us, the apple fanboys, samsung copies apple all the time, not the other way around

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        So what about every other company announcing there 64 bit? Exactly. Also I’m not no Android owner nor a fanboy I am a iPhone owner who doesn’t ride Apples d*ck over everything. Apple does one thing and Samsung does one thing that tops it. Then Apple does something that tops them. That is it no freaking one side is going to be superior as each one has its faults and upbringings. You clearly think otherwise. I have not once said I am a Android owner but iPhone fanboys like you clearly think so because one iPhone owner doesn’t agree with the group

      • Jeffrey

        they are also following the lead! i don’t ride apple’s dick, i’m facing the facts. also, your theory is false, the way it really goes is: apple does one thing, samsung copies it, apple tops them again, samsung copies it again. i don’t think otherwise, i KNOW otherwise. face the facts man, just face them. what facts do you have to bak your story? i have lots.

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        Here we go again. Here’s something for you. So “if” Apple makes a bigger screen for the iPhone 6 what does that tell you? Think it through all day I’m off my break

      • Jeffrey

        they will make a bigger screen for the iphone 6, but screen size is not something like a fingerprintsensor or an other big feature. a bigger screen is normal, samsung didn’t start with a bigger screen? almost every phone company has bigger screens, it’s normal. it’s like the colour of a phone, or the amount of pixels… would you also accuse apple for copying samsung if they would have the same amount of pixels as samsung?? good luck on your work

      • grumpyfuzz

        “Like the color of a phone”… Yet I hear apple fanboys talking about how companies “copied” gold all the time.

      • Jeffrey

        you dont hear me whine about samsung ‘copying’ gold? im speaking for myself as an individual not for the whole group of apple fanboys. i hear enough people saying apple copies samsung for making a bigger phone but i find that even as much bullshit as the colour stuff

      • Kash Gummaraju

        Totes in that case Apple copied the 64bit chips from PCs.

      • Jeffrey

        LOL

      • @dongiuj

        Bigger screens on smartphones are “normal” now but at one point a company “innovated” the smartphone with a bigger screen and THEN other companies followed. Fingerprint sensors are becoming used more, not just by apple. And just like bigger screens became “normal” so will fingerprint sensors probably. Fingerprint sensor was on a smartphone in japan approximately 6 months to a year before the 5S. It was rubbish but and not continued on other phones but just goes to show that it probably is the future step that all smartphones and a lot of other products too will use more and more. Apple wasn’t the first company to use a fingerprint sensor on a mobile device so you could say that apple copied that idea, no?

      • Jeffrey

        i know they weren’t the first one, but they were the first successful one, which other companies are now following and copying. also, i dont think you can be innovative if you enlarge the screen size… i dont think people are gonna say apple is creative if they release a phone with a 7 inch screen (just an example)

      • @dongiuj

        Innovative means to do something new and a large screen on a smartphone had to be new at some point so I would say it was innovative. Granted, apple bought a good Israeli company that made good fingerprint sensors and apple implemented it into its smartphone. It still has it’s problems but seems to work better than others before it. Getting back to innovated, apple didn’t innovate having a fingerprint sensor on a smartphone but the location on the smartphone and what it’s used for in that location on the smartphone is most probably innovation. But then apple didn’t innovate by making phone calls, video calls, sending emails, taking photos and looking at websites on a mobile device so you can say that apple copied ALL of those things. They are all “normal” now but it never use to be. It seems that what ever apple didn’t “innovate” is “normal” these days so it doesn’t count. Well now it’s time for what ever apple “innovated” has become/is becoming “normal”.

      • Jeffrey

        well i dont think a a little bit bigger screen is innovative. i also give in on the fact that the fingerprint sensor wasn’t innovative since it was already done, i just think apple set a standard for other phone companies by putting a fingerprintsensor in it. other phone companies had to implement a fingerprintsensor in their flagship phones in order to not lose customers to apple. i also think that ‘making phone calls, video calls, sending emails, taking photos and looking at websites on a mobile device’ wasn’t exactly innovative but the iphone was the first phone to do it right! other os’s and phones like windows mobile were awful to use for emailing, taking photo’s and surfing the internet. The iphone was a huge innovation in the worlds eyes in 2007, we can’t ignore that fact. without apple, phones right now would still use touch pens, they would still be useless for emailing and web browsing and they would still run on windows mobile. 80% of the people would have never even heard of android.

      • @dongiuj

        Mate, Samsung copied apple and apple copied samsung. At the end of the day EVERY company copies other companies. Doesn’t matter how many times were copied, copying is copying. If you can’t accept that then there’s something seriously child like with you. It’s never going to change. GET OVER IT!

      • Jeffrey

        ofcourse and i agree, but you have to admit that samsung’s whole phone is copied off of other phones, there’s not one part that they have innovated themself, let alone the OS. apple also copies stuff but they change it so drastically that it is almost unrecognisable as a copy

      • Kash Gummaraju

        Quiet you tool, it’s very recognisable when Apple does something that other OEMs have had. Like the control center, the lockscreen, multitasking. Yeah we can tell.

      • Jeffrey

        no you shus, ‘tool’, yeah apple copied features like control center and multitasking (not the lockscreen, thats bullshaz), but they arent as stupid as samsung, they redesign the copied features, not like samsung, they even copy the design. shh

  • Captain Canada

    Android isn’t going anywhere, if Apple wanted to crush them they should have done so in 2010 but it’s their mistake for not foreseeing the platform to be such a threat/competitor. Samsung is too big, if they left the smartphone industry they’d be just fine, companies like HTC will wither anyways but for every HTC 5 new Chinese OEMs will emerge. Android is a beast that even Google struggles to control, it’s not going anywhere

  • Dan

    >.<

  • abooduper

    samsung is a sh!t . they are copying apple devices and ideas and change a little thing on it and BOOM! (we made a new device better than apple ) i think apple should do something people love like making the iPhone bigger and put some great features on it make the people hate samsung

    • @dongiuj

      People who like competition won’t hate any company. Once you understand this you’ll be able to get on with your life. If apple want to copy, go ahead. If Microsoft want to copy, go ahead. If Ford want to copy, it should.

  • Apple is no cleaner as you’re making it sound. They have their ruthless business habits (http://bit ly/13tVo4n) too, and I’m currently experiencing one behind the scenes (http://bit ly/1jjvXgT). Either ways, I think this patent nonsense should end at the root of all of it; the patent system. The tech side of it (if not the entire system) needs to be rebuilt, similar to the following:

    “- Company A has an idea and a functioning prototype

    – Company A is granted a patent, valid for 1 year (they’re given a deadline to have marketable product). Marketable product being one that works as advertised and meets all safety standards.

    – If Company A manages to meet the deadline, patent duration is extended for an additional 4 years

    – If Company A fails to meet the deadline, patent expires

    – If Company B manages to build a functioning product b4 Company A and b4 deadline, they can’t market it without a license from Company A

    – If Company B manages to build a functioning product b4 Company A and after deadline, they can market it without a license from Company A. In this case, no one owns exclusive rights to the patent.”

    That will reduce the number of lawsuit trolls and reward the true inventors. Too bad it’s not gonna take effect for a few decades, the system is too broken.

    • felixtaf

      “Company A is granted a patent, valid for 1 year (they’re given a deadline to have marketable product). Marketable product being one that works as advertised and meets all safety standards”

      This is good only for a debate. But wont be practical. Most of the patents these companies hold are are bought out from inventors. That being said, not every1 can jus release a marketable poduct within a deadline. For example if you have an idea for a fastest data transfer, how will you release a functional product without funds n support?

      Such an idea will help only crooked companies to exploit inventors. Because once u know ur patent is going to expire, you have to either sell it or lose it.

      Patent system follows almost same norms/laws for every product. If such a rule comes to life, pharmacological inventions suffer a lot (coz a drug cant be made and marketted within 1 yr or few years).

      Your last to points are already followed by patent system.

      • Understood. Totally agree.

        With that in mind, there should be separate deadlines depending on the industry the invention is for. The industry being categorized similar to this (http://bit ly/1ocM2sd). If an idea fits multiple, it gets a time period equivalent to the sum of their pre-defined deadlines. For example, for an idea for the consumer electronics industry, an easy fix would be extending that 1 year to 3 years. That gives more than enough time for:

        “- Privately planning your entire development and manufacturing process first

        – Then patenting the idea

        – While patent is pending (could take years to approve or disprove), plan multiple manufacturing processes for different outcomes of the funding process

        – If idea is successfully patented, and the 3-year timing begins, begin spreading your idea (on say Kick-starter) to raise funding

        – After the fund-raising campaign (usually 1-6 months), if successful, begin the manufacturing process which you planned ahead for based on the funding outcome.

        – Any improvements/tweaking you realize along the way can be implemented within the remaining 33-month period

        – Complete your product and ship it to the market”

        For a health/wellness industry, that deadline extends to say 15 years ’cause the journey for inventing and marketting a drug is usually 12+ (http://bit ly/1ocODCC).

      • felixtaf

        Patent laws arent that bad. It gives as mush as protection to the inventor. But the use of patent laws by crooked patent lawyers is painting the whole patent system dark.
        I agree that separate laws should be added or amended for different products/processes.
        Yes, pharmacological products takes more time. Because they have to go to several trials before reaching the consumer.

  • Girish

    everybody in the whole world knows that samsung copied apple,,,,,,
    y argue upon this,,just digest this fact samsung fanboys,,,

    • @dongiuj

      Every normal non brainwashed person in the world knows all companies copy. Yes, that includes the company you love so much as if it were your own company, apple. Now shush and stop sounding like a freak without a life.

      • Girish

        lol proofs all over everywhere man,,,get over it

      • @dongiuj

        Get over what? That every company copy? Good, I’m all for companies copying. It’s better for the consumer. WAKE UP AND GET OVER IT!