US judge says Samsung tablets unlikely to attract Apple's customers

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
In her decision not to grant Apple a preliminary injunction against Samsung, US judge Lucy Koh stated that her decision was grounded in part on the fact that Samsung's sales were unlikely to tempt Apple's customers and instead come at the expense of other Android makers.



The reasoning behind the ruling was discovered in public court documents that were not properly redacted. A report by Reuters notes that its journalists obtained a copy of the court filings before they were edited to block certain details as intended by the court.



Justice Koh's 65 page decision that denied Apple a preliminary injunction against Samsung's sales of Galaxy smartphones and tablets in the US included mention of studies by Apple that "show that existing customers are unlikely to switch from iPhones to Samsung devices."



The report noted that "Instead, the evidence suggests an increase in sales of Samsung smartphones is likely to come at the expense of other smartphones with Android operating systems," making continued sales by Samsung leading up to a final determination on patent infringement a less significant threat to Apple, in the judge's opinion.



Samsung: counterfeits ok if Apple can't make enough originals



The judge also mentioned Samsung's argument, which stated that were Samsung's sales to be blocked, Apple would not be able to keep up with the demand for smartphones in the market. However, Koh regarded the argument as "dubious," in the face of evidence by Apple portraying itself as capable of keeping up with demand.



The heavily redacted decision also included mention of Apple licensing its scrolling patents to Nokia and IBM, and attempting to license the patent to Samsung, actions that were not publicly advertised by any of the parties previously.



Apple and Nokia entered into a secret agreement to resolve their patent issues, but publicly that decision was portrayed only as Apple paying Nokia to license its mostly FRAND licensed, standards related intellectual property. There was no mention of Apple giving Nokia any rights to use its patents unique to the iPhone.



Apple on the offense



While Samsung sells relatively very few tablets, Apple has targeted it as a primary violator of its iPhone and iPad patents due to the egregious nature of its "slavishly" copying Apple's designs, likely in hopes to prevent other makers from also using its designs as blueprints to copy.



Apple's internal studies demonstrating the low relative threat of Samsung's devices appear to have been proven accurate by the lack of any significant tablet sales by Samsung, or by similar devices from Motorola, RIM and HP this year. Apple has similarly brushed off the threat of Amazon's Kindle Fire, with its executives remaining confident that Fire sales would help attract attention to the iPad.



On the other hand, analysts note that Amazon's low cost Kindle Fire will likely engulf at least half of all Android tablet sales next year, making it even more difficult for other Android-based tablets and other potential iPad competitors to gain any traction.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 176
    So the judge is saying "The other guy's product sucks, what are you worried about"?
  • Reply 2 of 176
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,299member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple and Nokia entered into a secret agreement to resolve their patent issues, but publicly that decision was portrayed only as Apple paying Nokia to license its mostly FRAND licensed, standards related intellectual property. There was no mention of Apple giving Nokia any rights to use its patents unique to the iPhone.



    Huh? You didn't read the Apple statement to the press where Apple said that Nokia will have a license to some technology, ?but not the majority of the innovations that make the iPhone unique.?? That means some technology that makes the iPhone unique was licensed, otherwise Apple wouldn't have mentioned it, nor worded it the way they did.



    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...itigation.html
  • Reply 3 of 176
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,299member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post


    So the judge is saying "The other guy's product sucks, what are you worried about"?



    Koh used Apple's own studies (submitted by Apple themselves I presume) that Samsung presented little market danger to Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 176
    I'm not a lawyer but if I understand this right, Apple loses the injunction to stop sales in the US but it can still win at trial?
  • Reply 5 of 176
    8002580025 Posts: 172member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In her decision not to grant Apple a preliminary injunction against Samsung, US judge Lucy Koh stated that her decision was grounded in part on the fact that Samsung's sales were unlikely to tempt Apple's customers and instead come at the expense of other Android makers.



    Wow, just think what an enterprising PR / marketing firm could do with this judge's "endorsement".
  • Reply 6 of 176
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,299member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post


    I'm not a lawyer but if I understand this right, Apple loses the injunction to stop sales in the US but it can still win at trial?



    This had to do with a preliminary injunction, so yes Apple can certainly come out as the winner when all is finished For now Apple's own documents were used against them according to the report. While they were arguing that Samsung was stealing significant sales from iOS devices and they needed immediate relief, Apple's market studies submitted to the court were saying just the opposite. Therefor the judge saw little danger to Apple's device sales by waiting for the actual trial in a few months before making any decision.



    I'm starting to question Apple's legal teams. This is the second time in just a few days that we've seen Apple documents being used against themselves.
  • Reply 7 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    This had to do with a preliminary injunction, so yes Apple can certainly come out as the winner when all is finished For now Apple's own documents were used against them according to the report. While they were arguing that Samsung was stealing significant sales from iOS devices and they needed immediate relief, Apple's market studies submitted to the court were saying just the opposite. Therefor the judge saw little danger to Apple's device sales by waiting for the actual trial in a few months before making any decision.



    I'm starting to question Apple's legal teams. This is the second time in just a few days that we've seen Apple documents being used against themselves.



    you win the preliminary injunction if you are likely to win in the permanent verdict.



    inversely, (albeit the logic is not this simple), it means that apple is unlikely to win the permanent verdict against samsung in this case.



    from the beginning of this lawsuit, i am on samsung's side.



    but hopefully the judge does not put too much emphasis only on the damages to apple, because patents is not about whether apple was injured due to infringement by samsung.

    the core question is whether there was an infringement and should samsung be prevented from sales as a punishment.



    what the judge really should do is to invalidate these stupid design patents and order apple to file them under copyrights/trademarks.
  • Reply 8 of 176
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    It means that although the Tab looks somewhat like the iPad, not one single person will purchase a Tab when they really wanted to buy an iPad
  • Reply 9 of 176
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


    It means that although the Tab looks somewhat like the iPad, not one single person will purchase a Tab when they really wanted to buy an iPad



    That's not what was stated. To be an Apple customer it seems reasonable that you would have to have purchased products from Apple. Now we can split hairs and say that if you installed QuickTime on Windows or it bought a single song on iTS you are an Apple customer, but I think the implication is that iPad buyers aren't going to buy an Samsung tablet. What about all the majority of the world that has no experience with tablets? How do they make their decision if even Samsung's lawyers can't tell the difference? We have rules about protecting trademarks for a reason. We may not like how these infringements are handled but you protecting trademark and IP rights are there for a good reasons.
  • Reply 10 of 176
    macrrmacrr Posts: 488member
    Isn't this about samsung stealing IP, not customers?
  • Reply 11 of 176
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    Isn't a bad copy still a copy?
  • Reply 12 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Isn't a bad copy still a copy?



    That's what I was sayin', except you said it better.
  • Reply 13 of 176
    kpomkpom Posts: 616member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Isn't a bad copy still a copy?



    Yes, but I think the point is that if it isn't going to directly harm Apple's market share, then other remedies (i.e. monetary) would be appropriate if the final ruling is that Samsung violated valid Apple patents. There's a higher threshold to ban sales of a product than there are for awarding monetary damages.



    Product bans are generally warranted only if allowing sales of an infringing product would cause irreparable harm. If Apple would lose significant sales to Samsung by virtue of Samsung violating Apple's patents, then that would be a case for a ban.
  • Reply 14 of 176
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRR View Post


    Isn't this about samsung stealing IP, not customers?



    Good point. Why is Apple's success or Samsung's ineffectual efforts a factor when it comes to IP and trademark theft? One article I read ? maybe this one ?*noted that Samsung losing here would likely benefit other Android-based tablet makers more than Apple.
  • Reply 15 of 176
    Basing the decision on the impact to Apple's sales kind of misses the point of the merits of patent protection. What does "coming at the expense of other Android makers" versus iPads have to do with the merits of a per se infringement? Is the message "you can knock something off, as long as you're only semi-profitable"?



    This sends a fantastic message to the garage innovators who don't have the flush legal coffers of an Apple to defend their IP.
  • Reply 16 of 176
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRR View Post


    Isn't this about samsung stealing IP, not customers?



    Which is why they didn't grant an injunction. Apple isn't damaged by the ongoing sales of the Samsung tablet, beyond the remedy they would seek for the infringement. It actually makes pretty good sense.



    ...but I would have loved to see Samsung get bitten!
  • Reply 17 of 176
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRR View Post


    Isn't this about samsung stealing IP, not customers?



    This is not a decision on whether they infringed on Apple's patents, but a denial of Apple's request for an injunction against Samsung to stop selling devices until the patent case is settled which can take years. It's kinda hard to grant that type of injunction when the iPad is selling in the millions and the Tab in (I'm being generous) the hundreds of thousands. Samsung isn't hurting Apple's business but granting that injunction would kill Samsungs. No judge would've granted it given those numbers.
  • Reply 18 of 176
    red oakred oak Posts: 641member
    I wonder how all of this will affect Samsung sales in the US, across all their product lines.



    I, for one, will not be buying any more Samsung products going forward. All the legalize aside, it is clear to me that Samsung has targeted Apple products and design. The Samsung TV on the wall of my family room will be my last.



    I hope Apple puts a knife into their business. First by moving all of their component business away. Second, by launching iTV which sucks all of the remaining profit out of the TV business
  • Reply 19 of 176
    hjbhjb Posts: 278member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Koh used Apple's own studies (submitted by Apple themselves I presume) that Samsung presented little market danger to Apple.



    Remember in the Australia case? Apple was basically scared of Galaxy series. How contradictory Apple?
  • Reply 20 of 176
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    That's not what was stated. To be an Apple customer it seems reasonable that you would have to have purchased products from Apple. Now we can split hairs and say that if you installed QuickTime on Windows or it bought a single song on iTS you are an Apple customer, but I think the implication is that iPad buyers aren't going to buy an Samsung tablet. What about all the majority of the world that has no experience with tablets? How do they make their decision if even Samsung's lawyers can't tell the difference? We have rules about protecting trademarks for a reason. We may not like how these infringements are handled but you protecting trademark and IP rights are there for a good reasons.



    I definitely see your point and wholeheartedly agree, but the truth is that injunctions like that are seldom awarded.
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