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
    Wally (profile), 2 Jul 2012 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Everyone Screams Again

    My iOS device is an iPod touch 4th gen. My droid is a Samsung SPH-M580....not the best phone admittedly, but it does make calls, that is all I need in a phone. I have used my mom's droid (HTC make) and I find that Droid's interface depends largely on each model, so if you upgrade to a new phone, it's based upon make and model do you have to learn it. If I upgrade to an iPad or iPhone, I don't have to learn anything new.

    Point is, they both do have their strengths and weaknesses. It boils down to preferences. I can't afford a data plan and are not inclined to use 3G or 4G because of it. It saves me money to just use local wifi hotspots and my own Internet connection. Hell, my wife and I used the 4th gen iPods' FaceTime feature to keep in touch when we were dating to avoid $350 in overage charges. So while my preferences in mobile devices lay with Apple, I don't like their desktops or OSX in general. I grew up using Finder 6.0.8 and System 7.1.1 and OS8 and 9, (those were great). So my apple fanboy ism died at the release of OSX.

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