Dear Judge Koh: Competition Is No Reason To Ban A Phone

from the that's-ridiculous dept

We already had mentioned that Apple had succeeded in getting a rare pre-trial injunction against Samsung's tablets, but now it's also succeeded in blocking the Galaxy Nexus phone as well, though the judge's reasoning is a bit bizarre:
"Apple has made a clear showing that, in the absence of a preliminary injunction, it is likely to lose substantial market share in the smartphone market and to lose substantial downstream sales of future smartphone purchases and tag-along products," Judge Koh said in Friday's ruling.
First of all, this seems to be yet another admission by Apple that it just can't compete in the marketplace against Samsung. Such a ruling seems to scream out to potential buyers: hey, check out the devices that even Apple admits you'd want over its own. But, more importantly, "losing substantial market share" is what competition is all about. If someone comes out with a better product, then the other company should lose substantial market share. That doesn't deserve an injunction. That harms the market, who clearly -- even by Apple's own admission, apparently -- wants the other product more.

The fact that two phones will compete is no reason to ban a phone. Let them compete. Let the market decide.

Even more bizarre is why an injunction should be issued at all. Following the MercExchange decision, courts are only supposed to issue injunctions in exceptional cases. If it's an issue that can be dealt with by requiring a royalty, then there's no reason to issue an injunction.

Samsung, of course, is appealing this and asking that the injunction be put on hold until that appeal is heard. In the meantime, some are pointing out that, for all of Apple's insistence that Samsung copied the designs of its phone and tablet from Apple, you could easily make the argument that Apple got some inspiration from Samsung as well:
And really, that's the point. Innovation and advancement involve all sorts of copying, but also improvements. It goes back and forth. Attacking one party for copying another misses the point, limits competition and harms consumers. It's too bad the US patent system and the courts now want to aid that process.

Filed Under: android, competition, injunction, iphone, lucy koh, patents
Companies: apple, samsung


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  1. icon
    G Thompson (profile), 2 Jul 2012 @ 8:43pm

    Re: H8ers Need to Eat Some Apple Pi

    Why do you call yourself BrandMan when it is self evident to all that you are only a one brand man.. Apple

    What people have to realize is that knock-offs do more than just cannibalize sales: they create confusion in the market and allow inferior products to masquerade as industry front-runners.
    You can tell exactly by this one sentence though that you have no clue and just are someone else using faith based ideals that show everyone that sadly Apple's marketing hype and puffery actually work on the deluded.

    Samsung's products are more innvative than Apple's are as are HTC's and also Nokia's. Why? Becasue Apple have not innovated ANYTHING since producing a Music player bundled with a phone. They refuse to add functionality that consumers want, refuse to innovate towards what the market desires or expects, refuses to adapt to changing conditions and refuses to accept that people aren't sheep.

    The rest of the world now buys more NON apple devices than ever before, both Apple and HTC are running neck and neck ABOVE Apple in smart-device sales (tablets and phones)

    Samsung can, and I expect at some stage they will have to, refuse to sell the screens to Apple anymore. Apple will then scream and complain to the courts in the USA who guess what, have no power over what Samsung Electronics Inc (or its many affiliates) actually sell or not sell.. And if you think a breach of contract suit (whilst the screen contract is in force) would concern them or hurt them.. HA!

    Professionally I love Apple products, I can pull stuff of them that is absolutely astounding and beneficial to forensic examinations/investigations more than any Android/Win phone is. For this reason alone I tell everyone I know NOT to buy Apple products!

    If Apple start innovating again and bring to market a conceptual working product that is the 'next best thing' great. BUt until then they cannot rest on their laurels and expect the world and competitors to not give them chase and in certain respects catch up and out perform them.

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