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Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

Did Samsung Win?

Lots of discusion about Apple's (AAPL) patent lawsuit agains Samsung. While a $1.05 billion award is nothing to sneeze at, keep in mind that Apple's market cap is $622 billion. 

Robert Scoble has an interesting take...

I think this is actually a sizable win for Samsung. Why? It only cost $1 billion to become the #2 most profitable mobile company. Remember how much Microsoft paid for Skype? $8 billion. So, for 1/8th of a Skype Samsung took RIM's place and kicked HTC's behind.

Samsung is a much healthier company than any of those BECAUSE it copied the iPhone.

Look no further than Research in Motion (RIMM) for the consequences of not stealing from the best. Steve Jobs said "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas" and its worked out pretty well for Apple.

If Samsung is prohibited from selling its products then they are the obvious losers but usually patents can be licensed for a reasonable fee. 

Canada's Wi-Lan (WIN.TO) makes a good living licensing their patents and this is a quote from Andrew Parolin, their Senior Vice President, Licensing:

License fees are determined by many factors so there is rarely a “one-size-fits-all” rate or fee. One of the factors that applies in virtually every situation is that we want a royalty that compensates fairly for the essential IP but is not so unduly onerous that it would jeopardize a licensee’s business.

Apple's last CEO was a vindictive prick but it remains to be seen how the current regime will handle the situation. 

From what I've seen so far, it appears that the best approach is to build the best product first and then worry about the IP later. If the product sells, everybody should win.