Patent Decisions Arent Uniformly Enforced

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-05-21 Print this article Print

5. It€™s not all about offense

It€™s easy for the companies to file lawsuits, but what they don€™t realize is that with every new lawsuit they launch, the defendant responds with more infringement claims of its own. As much as both firms are on the offense, they€™re also on the defense. It would be a good idea for Apple and Samsung to realize that, and understand that being on the defense probably isn€™t so good for their legal budgets over the long term.

6. The courts are getting annoyed

As noted, a judge ordered Apple and Samsung to meet and discuss their mutual issues. What€™s more, the companies have faced some less-than-receptive judges elsewhere around the world. It appears now that the courts are starting to get annoyed. And annoyed judges could cause a whole bunch of issues for both firms. It€™s best to strike the deal now and move on before the judges start getting really mad.

7. The lawsuits have lost focus


When Apple and Samsung filed their first lawsuits against each other, the cases seemed to have focus and the supporting documentation was thought to be of high quality among judges. Since then, however, the companies have been throwing everything but the kitchen sink into their lawsuits. It became so bad recently that a judge in California told both sides to reduce the size of their lawsuits. The patent-infringement claims have lost their focus.

8. Bans won€™t be universally enforced

In nearly every case the companies have been waging, they€™re looking for a court to ban the other€™s products. That€™s fine and all, but the problem is, even when one side wins, the bans aren€™t universally enforced. In fact, they€™re often overturned or rendered useless after an appeal or unenforceable in countries overseas. If the eventual goal is a banning the sale of products, at what point will Apple and Samsung realize that likely won€™t happen on a grand scale?

9. The companies have bigger issues

Both companies' mobile businesses have grown tremendously, but that won€™t continue forever.  Apple must hope that its new CEO can be as effective as Steve Jobs. It also needs to hope that its recent, nominal upgrades to its mobile products will keep customers interested. Samsung, meanwhile, can€™t relax a minute in its competition with Apple. Now is not the time to waste energy in the courtroom.

10. It leaves them open to competitors€™ slings and arrows

Don€™t forget that however these lawsuits pan out, Apple and Samsung€™s competitors will be watching closely. After all, they€™re armed with their own patent libraries and if they feel that a particular lawsuit provides an opening, they€™ll spring into action. Neither Apple nor Samsung should give competitors the ability to capitalize on perceived weakness in the courtroom.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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