Apple Continues To Scream To The World How Competitive Samsung's Tablet Is By Getting It Banned In Australia

from the what-are-they-missing dept

Honestly, I’m at a loss to explain Apple’s patent lawsuits against Samsung, which seem mainly targeted at the company’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 product, which competes directly with the iPad. Having spent time with both devices, I can say that they’re certainly competitive. The hardware is pretty similar, but Apple’s software is still miles ahead on the tablet form-factor, though I’m sure Android will at least start to get better now that more tablets are on the market. But, really, all Apple has done with this lawsuit is to signal to the world (loudly) that hey, we’re really freaking scared that Samsung has built a better product than we have.

The latest in the worldwide legal fight is that Apple has convinced Australia to block the sale of the device in that country, while it reviews some of Apple’s more ridiculous patent claims — such as for “slide to unlock,” “pinch-to-zoom,” and… for the “edge bounce” feature that happens when you hit the “bottom” or “top” of a document. Seriously, Apple? Get over it. People copy design elements all the time. Apple has done it as well. And the end result is everyone works hard to make a great new product. Going after Samsung for making a quality competitor just looks petty. Go compete in the marketplace.

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Companies: apple, samsung

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Comments on “Apple Continues To Scream To The World How Competitive Samsung's Tablet Is By Getting It Banned In Australia”

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80 Comments
JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Pinch zoom sucks

> On that note, I’m surprised Apple didn’t
> sue the makers of Zombieland for using the
> term double-tap!

There’s prior art and that prior art was originated by people who know how to use guns and explosives.

Disney backed down on trademarking Seal Team 6 too.

Angry Seal? A whole platoon of them? No thanks.

Prisoner 201 says:

Why do you hate businesses that just want to watch the money roll in and not bother with all the “competing” stuff?

Why do you want honest Americans to lose their jobs, just because their product is inferior?

Can’t consumers just stop demanding more and more and, you know, just be happy with what they got for a change?

Is it so hard to just, you know, keep paying for the same old stuff?

Is it so hard to support the American honest hard-working single mom supporting peace loving patriotic CEOs that need that new yacht to be truly happy?

Is it?

And if it is, I must ask you, Mike, why are you Hitler?

Well, wich way is it, Mike? Are you with Apple, or are you Hitler?

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 3:33am

AC, it is just an extension of Jobs now.

I am in the industry, working on competition, so I watch Apple constantly.

If you watch Jobs public comments, you will notice he can be particularly rude to anyone or anything that competes with his “magical” devices.

I admit, they built Sheraton Eco-system around the product, which is why they do good, but they miss fundamentals that Android addresses.

I have a choice, in form factor, size, price, quality, etc. that you do not have with Apple.

I have a choice in how I interface with my device, while Apple forces you to use their itunes, like it or not.

See, Apple, from all current approached I see lately, is no longer trying to give the customer what they want, but instead is trying to tell the customer what they can buy.

Now that they see that the customer does not always agree with this, they are instead going after those who *gasp* give the customers a choice.

To me, it all stinks of technological tyranny.

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Re: sorry for the typos

Sorry for the typos, I was typing this on my Android Phone.

I admit, they built a great eco-system around the product*

Futher notes, please check how Jobs denounced flash player, then after Android announced and started putting flash player in their system, Apple suddenly changed it’s stance.

Guess people still showed that they would rather buy what they wanted, not what they were told to get.

JackSombra (profile) says:

Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 3:33am

“See, Apple, from all current approached I see lately, is no longer trying to give the customer what they want, but instead is trying to tell the customer what they can buy.”
There is no “current” to this way of doing things, it is how apple have always acted.

Just sometimes what they tell the customer they want is actually what customer wanted (knowingly or not) and apple profited greatly, especially if their competitors took a long time to catch up (decent looking desktops, portable music players, smart phones)

But, just as many times they get it really wrong (but never admit it or change direction) and even when they get it right their competitors have learned to catch up fast (large part due to Android).

No serious ipod competitor ever appeared
Took years for a serious iphone competitor to appear (and many now surpass it technically)
Only took about 6 months for multiple ipad competitors to appear and would say in about 6 more months many will be surpassing it

Apples undisputed “tech king” title that it has had for roughly the last 4 years is past it’s peak and the only direction for it now is down

John Doe says:

Apple has stopped innovating

It seems that Apple has stopped innovating. A friend of mine who drank the apple juice says this as well. Google, with Android, has put out a superior product that has already surpassed Apple in the smartphone market and now Apple is afraid that is going to happen in the tablet market. With Apple’s current strategy of litigation over innovation, Android will soon surpass iOS in the tablet market as well.

Its too bad Apple is stuck defending their stalled development and walled garden rather than continuing to innovate. It seems maybe they are out of ideas.

Vincent Clement (profile) says:

Re: Apple has stopped innovating

Apple has not stopped innovating. iOS5 will finally allow mobile devices to update the OS wirelessly. That it took five versions of an OS for mobile devices to ‘invent’ this ability clearly shows that it was a difficult innovation for Apple. It’s not like you can update Windows via a wifi connection.

/s

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Apple vs. Google

Apple warned Google about introducing multitouch features in Android, and now is just doing what promised; clearly they start from the most successful product, which happens to be Galaxy.

Er… I’ll admit I’ve not been following this that closely so no idea what patents are being contested, but how does Apple claim to have any kind of multi-touch patent in general or even specifically for pinch-zoom?

Surely things like Microsoft Surface pre-date iPhone and have the same functionality? Or is the patent system perhaps so broken as to allow that “doing exactly the same thing on a little device instead of a big one” is innovative enough to warrant a patent?

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Apple vs. Google

@Rene,

Actually, it is not Apple Vs. Google, well, not directly.
I think Apple might be afraid of going after Google because they could potentially loose, as well as having Google retaliate (via removal of permissions to use their Google products, which Google also actively supports on Apple devices).

I think you need to get more familiar with the industry before you make a blanket statement about it.

Google created the OS, they are not selling anything.
Even their Nexus line, which is the official Google line, is created by other companies, marketed by other companies, sold by other companies, and maintained by other companies (HTC and Samsung for phone, Sony for TV).

And as for “Apple warning Google about introducing multitouch features in Android”, I would like you to please show me where you got this information, because given that I actually work with Google in my company (I am in fact the primary point of contact between my company and Google, so know lots of juicy details), I watch any news that happens on these fronts, and I have not yet seen this particular warning.

Now, people, quit telling us about all the phones and tablets Google makes… It just makes you look silly (Didn’t I hear this somewhere before???? They only make an Open Source OS, not a single phone or tablet…).

Rene (profile) says:

Re: Re: Apple vs. Google

Please be so kind and google for info; there are many articles starting from 2009:
http://www.edibleapple.com/apple-asked-google-not-to-use-multi-touch-in-android/

and one year later:
http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/02/apple-google-multi-touch-android/

And unfortunately for Android, Google does lack the IP negotiation power Apple has.

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Apple vs. Google

Well color me pickled, it appears you are right. But for future reference, please don’t bother asking me to look up a claim you make, instead just show people where your claim came from. I try to do that when I make bold statements. Sorry, I will not be a witness against myself for your claim. I may be an idiot, but you have to prove it.

Now second, I never claimed they Google has more IP power, I said Apple is not going after them directly. That could very well change in the future. So this is still not Apple vs. Google, it is Apple vs. those who dare to use Android (not the one who makes it). Apples and oranges, not Apples and Googles.

pbarker (profile) says:

Mafia, er , Italian Americans v Apple

The constant use by Apple of the term “double-tap” evokes negative stereotypes of professional assassins – so called “Mafia Hit Men”.

The entire Italian American community should rise up and demand that Apple stop using this racist term. Perhaps Johnny Cochran can file a class action lawsuit against Apple?

Matt (profile) says:

Re: Mafia, er , Italian Americans v Apple

I doubt Cochran will be filing anything. Look it up.

The “Italian-American” thing bothers me. Stick to gangster stereotypes, instead of ethnic ones. I know it was funny in your head, but there are some who are rightly sensitive to being lumped in with criminals and their supporters just because of where their parents were born.

NullOp says:

Remember...

Remember those salad-days of youth sitting in the college classroom listening to the professor talking about free markets and how competition makes everything better? Ahhh… Little did we know it was all a dream and real companies never want to compete they just want monopoly and will lie, cheat and steal to get it. They’ll even manipulate governments. Geez we were young….

Amit G says:

Apple has stopped innovating

@Vincent Clement: Apple did not innovate over the air updates. My first generation PalmPre and now my Android phone are able to do it. My Android phone asks, if I want updates only when I am in wifi or do not care. So to say that Apple is being innovative because of that is just WRONG!

Nicedoggy says:

I think Jobs is thinking about second chances when he screwed up with the APPLE II, which sold for almost 30 years and became a legend among geeks everywhere, but was beaten by IBM that put out an open platform(i.e. the PC) to counter Apple.

Now history repeats itself and the iPhone is being sunk by another open platform.

So what do the guy do?
Close everything and start doing the same crap that eroded Apple’s market in the 80’s again, but with gusto this time.

DannyB (profile) says:

This is going to turn very ugly

I predict this patent nuclear war is going to turn very ugly.

In the past, companies have asked the ITC to seize and destroy competitors’ patent infringing products. Basically they are saying, “I want to destroy your business”.

Now that Apple has actually pulled the trigger on getting a successful product banned in a developed country, expect the other shoe to drop.

Other competitors are not just going to sit back and do nothing.

They probably cannot “collude”. But I’m sure they all know how they can act, in their own (eg, own shareholders’) interest, to dog pile onto Apple.

I predict this is going to turn very ugly indeed.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: This is going to turn very ugly

I agree with you, but . . .

HTC is being attacked by Apple. Furthermore as this article is about, Apple has gotten a competitor’s Android device banned in an entire country. Possibly for years.

That’s a nuclear strike. I don’t expect HTC not to exploit its S3 patents to try to get all Mac’s impounded and destroyed.

Obviously it would be best if all software patents went away. And I hope they do. I hope those patents that Apple/Microsoft/et.all just paid $4+ billion for go up in a puff of smoke.

But software patents now have to go away in multiple countries.

So until our mutual fantasy of a world without software patents happens, the patent arms race will continue. But it now an active live fire exchange. It will get ugly. The reasons why are clear. Offense calls for defense. Strike calls for counterstrike.

Oh, and I would also like world peace.
And a pony too please.

John Doe says:

Re: This is going to turn very ugly

Frankly I wish we would get a patent nuclear war. If every company in the technology space would sue everyone possible and seek ITC injunctions against competitors products, we might see an end to this nonsense. Once they have all nuked themselves to extinction, maybe then we will see real innovation and evolution.

The remnant of the surviving companies will crawl out of their bunkers like amoebas from the swamp. Patents will be reformed and/or peace treaties forged. They will start to divide & multiply. Eventually they will walk upright, use tools and discover fire. Finally, they will grow a brain and use it to create new things. A new age of civility will dawn and we will be in technological nirvana.

Nah, could never happen.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: This is going to turn very ugly

Actually, I think the very best thing that could possibly happen would be if the ITC granted every software patent releated request to impound and destroy competitors products.

The best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it. Sad but true.

Let me tell you a story about 20 years ago. (I was then a devoted Mac developer.) Motorola and Intel were suing/countersuing over microprocessor technology patents (x86 vs 68000). I don’t know who started it. Both parties had requested injunctions on sale of competitors product. The judge granted both! Guess what? The VERY NEXT BUSINESS DAY both parties had settled out of court. Imagine that!

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m a patent noob, so I have to ask; I thought patents were for the implementation of an idea, not the idea itself, while copyrights protect written ideas?

For example, say I’m the inventor/CEO of Swype. Can I patent Swype’s function of dragging your finger over a virtual keyboard as an alternate way of tap-typing? I would think not, although I could copyright the code (i.e. the specific implementation of that feature).

Assuming Samsung/HTC/Google didn’t directly take the algorithms that Apple invented and copyrighted, couldn’t they create their own implementation of pinch-to-zoom and slide-to-unlock? Or is Apple a special case?

Matt (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Close. Patents protect inventions, whether or not they are ever implemented. There must be an invention (not just a bare idea,) but it need not ever actually be implemented, even in prototype, provided you can demonstrate that it is novel and non-obvious, and that it can be done by someone sufficiently skilled in the art without further invention. Far and away the best way to demonstrate this last is to implement it.

Few patents are actually implemented in the marketplace. The inventor may try and fail, or may never be able to actually get any production financed, or both inventor and the PTO may be wrong about the patentability of the invention.

Copyrights protect expressions. In the case of written expression, like the code, they protect that code and can often be stretched to cover other, substantially similar code. Modern copyrights also protect the expression from derivative works – works based even loosely on the protected expression. The expression may not live only in the code – it may also live in the “look and feel” of the software. It does not live in the functional elements, although companies have found success convincing courts to read that protection into the copyright law.

In the US, patents can protect novel, nonobvious business methods. That can allow the patents to protect ways of doing things. Also, a patent can protect a tablet computer with particular functionality, including the functionality to interpret particular signals or responds to particular inputs in a particular way. Patent maximalists would likely argue that such a patent is no different from a patent protecting a mousetrap that responds to tugs on the bait tray as a signal to close the trap.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I bet Palm OS (now owned by HP) has a lot of gesture related patents going back to the early 1990’s. (Can you say palm graffiti?)

HP is trying to get a product (Web OS) into a crowded market against competitors (iOS/Android) who are way ahead, and a competitor who is way behind (Win Phone 7).

Wanna bet HP will get into this patent fight at some point?

Anonymous Coward says:

Miles ahead! really?

>>Apple’s software is still miles ahead on the tablet form-factor, though I’m sure Android will at least start to get better now that more tablets are on the market.

Most people assume this to be true, but it simply is not. Apple’s 3rd party app base may be miles ahead of Android’s, but their OS is arguably inferior to android–certainly not “miles ahead.”

Robert P (profile) says:

Apple's not scared

I don’t think Apple is signaling that they’re scared with this patent lawsuit. I think they’re signaling that they have boat loads of money and are using it to hinder competition as much as possible.

After all, when you have more money than the government (Right Mike? 🙂 ) you might as well use it to make sure you keep raking it in.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Apple's not scared

> signaling that they have boat loads of money
> and are using it to hinder competition as much
> as possible

Isn’t that what made Microsoft evil?

Tactics and strategy may have been different, but that’s only because Microsoft didn’t have patent ‘nuclear’ weapons and had to use ‘conventional’ anti competitive weapons of the day.

Scott says:

Funny thing is all you Apple Haters don’t see or even understand that Samsung Stole Apples IP while manufacturing displays and chips for them, now all the Android blind can say how evil Apple is but facts are that Samsung stole and infringed on Apples Patents and is using thier desings, “This is not in dispute, Samsung said To bad”

Now put it this way, if you spent 10 years designing and spending billions in R&D like Apple did, would you defend it or let some idiot steal it from you and wath them steal everything you designed and worked for for all those years.

Now if any of you said let them steal my designs and let them use it as they wish. You are fools and lying to cover your irrational thinking.

See its so easy to spot a Apple hater or fanboy of different products, they make statements like this Rant blog with no understanding of the truth or reason behind the action.

And if you had been real interested, you would see that Apple is being sued more then they sue.

So that blows holes in all your Apple is evil theory.

This is the worst put together B.S. Blog I have ever read, Mike just shows how uneducated about the facts he is and how far he will go for a click bait Rant.

Mike, your a fool if you believe all that bull you wrote, and your a fool, Apple has already gotten the courts to see they had been violated, but no you won’t report that will you.

Idiot.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Of course you hate your would be kidnapper.

Your blithering about lame patents is irrelevant.

Apple isn’t providing what people want. When others choose to, Apple responds with dirty tricks rather than improving their own product.

This is the exact opposite of liberty and a free market.

Apple should be free to do their own thing. Just don’t force the rest of us to put up with their crap.

When I buy a Samsung product, it’s for all of the reasons why it is quite unlike an Apple product.

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Re:

@ Scott

I love how you throw in ad hominem arguments to show your point, decrying “Apple Hater” or “Fanboy”, then ending with labeling Mike an “idiot”.

Goes far in making your point.

I’m not mad though, of course, I’m not Mike either.

I have spent enough time in this industry, working on tablet projects based around Android, that I know your arguments are a fallicy.

Fallacy 1: Innovation – Apple has not “innovated” anything, as almost everything they have done can be found in other, previous systems. The entire drag to move was implemented in almost any off page scrolling technique. Don’t believe me? Look at any web browser, they use a “Bar” to drag the system. The difference is, as found in Windows Mobile, it doesn’t work well, so the next step was to make the entire thing one big “bar”, aka, drag the entire page, not just the smaller “bar”. As an engineering background, this is not a novel idea, and has been used repeatedly. Just because I managed to get my piece of paper through the system first does not mean that I created the idea…
I could go through almost every “innovation” that you list and disprove any innovation Apple has done as coming from them. Even the PC.

Fallacy 2: That Apple has “unique” designs. The candy bar style phone has been around a lot longer then the iPhone. While some merits of Apple’s suits do in fact seem to take on a “copying” concept, such as the round home button with the square in the middle, others seem more like “common sense” and less like “innovation”. How else do you make a large screen phone seem sleek and sexy? A 4″ flip phone, doubling the size to 8″ and making it so awkward that it cannot even compete? Rounding it, squaring it? Maybe they should have patented some shapes instead. I have seen the comparisons, and while there are some things that can be pointed at between Samsung and Apple, and you can say “Yeah, they did copy that (Which might make sense to go to court over, but trust me, they are going for more then the “obvious”), some of those things just make obvious sense, and as debated over and over here on Techdirt, sense should not be patentable (Although it does appear that scarily, too many patents are being issued based on common sense instead of innovation) So, what happens? This companies broad patents are used to sue that company, which is defended by that companies broad patents, etc. In fact, I would say many of the companies in the current patent suits probably hold some broad patent that probably already covers what they are being sued for, and they are so broad in fact, that many end up overlapping.

Fallacy 3: Apple is being sued more then they sue. You claim it is because Apple is the “victim” in this? Most of the lawsuits have been filed as a retaliatory strike. If you trace out almost every date for patent suit in the current industry, you will find it as follows: Apple sues company x, so company x sues Apple. In fact, go back to these original suits, and you will find Apple was one of the first to start this. I would not say they are the only, but it is my impression that they are the catalyst (We can even go back to the original Apple Vs. Microsoft if you want to see how back this has gone on). Unfortunately, now it has spread, and it seems that this has created a wildfire that will not stop for a long time.

Fallacy 4: Apple has gotten the courts to see they are violated. Not completely accurate and non-opinionated there. While yes, they have won some judgments, they have at the same time lost some judgments. In fact, in some cases, the patents overlap to such an extent that they loose based on the very same patent they won, because the other side has a patent that covers overlapping ideas.

So, overall, you have failed to “win over” anyone with your somewhat misleading, and in some cases, quite false, arguments. So now, you understand why I say your idea is idiotic (Just in case you missed the point in this, I am not calling “you”an idiot, thus making an Ad hominem argument, but instead is telling you that your points are idiotic.).

The CAT says:

Bunch O' Wimps.......

It’s sad to see Apple, who could have been the market leader, once again tripping over themselves. I used to use Apple computers back in the 80’s and their “closed system, we don’t play with others” mentality destroyed them then with the PC and Windows and today, it looks like Android is going to take their lunch money again and eventually have the market share in both the phone and tablet business. Apple needs to understand that the reason this is going to occur is because of their backwards thinking and selfishness in the tech community. Apple contributes nothing to the cause whereas open source Android educates the market and improves upon the mistakes of others.

Amit G says:

Re: Bunch O' Wimps.......

You took the words out of my mouth. I was just thinking how they lost to PCs in the 80s and it looks like they are following the same path again. I hear it all that time that Apple is not a monopoly, and to use the excuse that its because they do not have enough marketshare is just bogus. If you want an iOS what are your options? Apple, Apple or Apple. This is one reason why I do not like Apple.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Bunch O' Wimps.......

Apple isn’t a monopoly. If you want a Suburban you’re only choice is Chevy. That doesn’t make Chevy a monopoly. If you want iOS, you go with Apple, but if you want a mobile OS, you have iOS, Android, WinPhone 7, WebOS, whatever that OS that RIM has, and others. By you’re definition, Google, Microsoft, HP, and RIM are all monopolies as well.

Sean says:

Based on market dominance and infinitely better products I’m confident Apple isn’t ‘scared’ of Samsung’s ‘superior’ product. If we recall the Samsung phone that looked exactly similar to the iPhone, even matching some icons, it’s amazing to think that anyone would believe Apple is nervous Samsung made a better product.

JEDDIAH says:

Re: Actions vs. Rhetoric

Clearly they are afraid of something.

If Samsung were really that pathetic, then Apple would have no reason to try and destroy them. The whole issue would be moot. It would be pointless and a big waste of money.

Clearly they fear Samsung.

They fear Android in general. They have reason to. The tide has already turned against them.

Everyone that said “repeat of PCs” is being proven right.

Prashanth (profile) says:

And you know what? I read a report yesterday saying that over 50% of both Android and Blackberry users plan to buy an iPhone as their next smartphone. So really, Android phones are almost like aspirational intermediates to iPhones, which is only helping Apple’s business. So Apple has nothing to fear from Samsung, it seems; if Apple is that scared, that only further legitimizes Samsung’s position in the marketplace.

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Re:

@Prashanth

Please cite your source, because I believe you are full of piss and vinegar. And please, make sure it is not a “US only” study, because, although this is hard to believe, there is a whole world out there, and Apple is loosing the world, not just the US.

Here is one that would “dispute” your claim straight off:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/02/canalys-android-rules-the-smartphone-world-samsung-couldve-do/
http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/31/canalys-android-overtakes-symbian-as-worlds-best-selling-smart/

That is two right there from a single site that sort of shows you are full of piss and vinegar. So, want to go back to the “Apple has nothing to fear from Samsung” comment?

Prashanth (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

http://lxer.com/module/newswire/ext_link.php?rid=154200 There’s the source. Granted, that article unfortunately doesn’t cite any visible sources to back up its claims (aside from referring to some magical “study”, but that may be because there aren’t any links to that study as of yet), but I see that you’ve totally misread my statement. I didn’t say that Android doesn’t have the majority of the market; what I did say was that over half of current Android users plan to buy an iPhone for their next smartphone, and for that reason, Apple has no fears. Note: I say this as a fan of Android, Linux, and open source stuff. So please, get some glasses and some lessons in reading comprehension.

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Thank you for the link.
The information, in some ways, is correct, because of Verizon offering iPhone.
I have already seen information on this about how people who were buying Android were doing so only because they refused to go to AT&T, and their carriers were not offering the Apple product.

I do not claim Apple is not a good system, nor that it is not a good and/or powerful product. I just hate Apple for other reasons (Restrictiveness, cost basis, patent trolling, etc.).

The one fact that was not addressed though was the very thing I specifically commented on: Please show me about the world, not the US. This is clearly US based. From what I have personally viewed living here in Taiwan, this information is false on a world wide application level. Many countries actually prefer Android over Apple, although some prefer Apple over Android. The reason this is important? The US is not the center of the world, and profits by companies may actually be higher for total sales outside the US then inside. Again, this is why I specifically pointed towards information on the iOS Vs. Android in a global perspective.

Please remember, there is something outside the fish bowl, and I am American proving that.

steve davidson (profile) says:

Bad Marketing

I agree, all Apple has done is draw attention to the competition. It confirms the leadership at Apple is shifting from visionary to corporate lawyers leading the way… instead of fighting back with a great ad campaign that promotes the ipad and new innovative features, just hire a battalion of lawyers…unfortunately as Microsoft can attest…the lawyers just cost you money, and damage your market focus.

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