Korea JoongAng Daily: Samsung must stop slavishly copying Apple

“Samsung Electronics was dealt a major loss in its patent battle with Apple after a California court jury recommended awarding the U.S. smartphone maker damages of $1.05 billion for infringements on patents for its iPhones and iPads. The same jury did not recommend Samsung receive any money regarding its counterclaim that Apple infringed on its utility patents,” Korea JoongAng Daily (JoongAng Ilbo) writes. “Samsung plans to challenge the ruling, so the judge’s final verdict may come out a little differently. However, it is evident that Samsung has suffered a crushing defeat that will likely have strong ramifications in the U.S. market, and the case could set a worrying precedent for its ongoing patent litigation with Apple in courts around the world.”

“What the case highlights is that originality is the key to survival in this cut-throat industry. Copying and clever upgrading are no longer viable, as companies become increasingly protective of their inventions and patent rights,” Korea JoongAng Daily writes. “Samsung must reinvent itself as a first-mover, despite the huge risks involved in acting as a pioneer, if it hopes to beat the competition.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: JoongAng Ilbo was first published on September 22, 1965 by Lee Byung-chul, the founder of Samsung Group.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Double07” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
South Korea reassesses its great imitator, Samsung – September 2, 2012
Convicted patent infringer Samsung acuses Apple of trying to limit consumer choice – September 1, 2012
Apple files amended complaint, adds Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note, Note 10.1 to list of patent infringing devices – September 1, 2012


  1. You have to love people thinking SamDung will change their practices. Once a cheat always a cheat. They don’t just copy Apple they copy everything. Apple is just the most outrageous attempt to date. They have lost face over this so lets see how this eventually turns out.

  2. The commitment to learn how to “Think Different” and truly create new solutions is something that takes a generation to implement in a culture.

    A friend of mine travels to Asia to oversee tooling for new plastic products and his best “engineers” can get stumped on rather simple decision making when it requires resolving a number of interrelated components and decisions about changes for all items at once.

    He once told me that the Asian engineers want to look for a solution in “the book.”

    The trick when you are in “stew pot”, is you are already in the solution and just have to pick the right items out of the stew.

    We often call it “thinking on your feet” and are used to it.

    Top management can say they are going to “innovate”, but getting the right people with the right training and mindset is a tough task.

  3. Now that they’ve been burned, Samsung can change and innovate their future products. Apple changed when Mr. Jobs came back and took over the reins of the computer, cutting back all the product line until it finally made sense. Samsung was and is wrong to copy from Apple, just like Microsoft was wrong to copy from Apple. But if Samsung can step forward and show courage and innovate their future products then it’s a whole new game, for them, for Apple (competition is good) and for consumers (choice is great).

    1. Well, there isn’t really an analogy here. Apple never lost its originality at any time, even in the depths of the 1996 Performa overstock horror. But Apple did crash and burn it’s hopes for a new OS when the Copland and Gershwin OS projects went nowhere. Jobs brought with him NeXTStep/OpenStep, which evolved into OS X.

      It’s unclear whether Samsung EVER had an entrepreneurial spirit. I believe they have actually invented a few original things. If they could kill off the ripoff company culture, they ideally should get those creative people out in front and into management. That’s going to require skewering and roasting alive the plentiful marketing morons inside Samsung’s management who are responsible for the BAD ATTITUDE problems. That’s a difficult task. Once that infection takes hold, watch out. Those people are out for blood if you cross them, which of course one reason they are detrimental to business management. Just ask Sony.

  4. What’s really shameful is the way samsung has handled this issue, by trying to turn the tables instead of accepting responsibility, by not bringing in their executives to testify on samsung’s behalf, and by sending out a flood of bitter internet commenters (i.e. trolls) in a feeble attempt to sway public opinion.

    But what do you expect from a company that’s run by criminals (convicted in Korean courts), dominated by nepotism, and willfully tarnishing Koreans’ reputation in the world.

  5. As a Korean-American who was born in Korea and lived most of my youth there in the 60’s and 70’s, I can assure you that Samsung (and anyone else there) is still many years away from developing truly original thoughts of their own. It really has to do with the environment, the culture, the history and the collective psyche of the people there and all these things just don’t foster a mindset for them to come up with new ideas.

    Korea still remains a very conformist society (when compared to the West) with an entrenched top-down hierarchy not only in large multinational conglomerates like Samsung, Hyundai, and LG, but also in the government, smaller companies, schools, military, families and the society itself. It’s much better than it used to be, but traditions that have been passed on down for thousands of years are hard to break away from.

    Still, Korea probably has more potential for new ideas and original thoughts than most other nations in east Asia, including Japan and China. I’m just generalizing here, but Koreans are more individualistic, emotional, and less regimented than the Japanese. China will be too busy catching up to sit down and think of developing truly new ideas that would resonate would consumers.

    Korea had also been like that since the Korean War and are only now at the cusp of thinking up of ideas of their own. Samsung is now at a position to reflect on this verdict and make a fundamental change in how it designs new products and services, but the management’s behavior tells me that they haven’t learned and remain defiant just to “save face” in a juvenile manner. To Koreans, “losing face” is the worst indignation one could suffer.

    It’s obvious that Samsung isn’t going to man up due to the management’s bloated ego with a deluded Napoleon complex afflicting the company from the top on down. As a Korean-American, it really is a sad thing to observe. They have so much potential. If these huge, monolithic, sprawling chaebol conglomerates could be smashed up into hundreds of smaller and more nimble companies, you’d start seeing real innovation coming out of there. But it’s still all about the “king” in Korea…

      1. I second that. Thanks @alexkhan2000.

        I’ve been fortunate to have worked with colleagues from all over in various jobs in Silicon Valley. Korean-Americans were among the best and most creative of them all.

    1. Thoughtful, insightful comment. I am a white American who lived and worked in Korea for a couple of years. I have also spent a lot of time in other Asian countries. I agree that Koreans are uniquely positioned to succeed. They are very smart, very motivated, and very hard-working. Despite the considerable weight of tradition, they are the most interesting people in Asia. To me they combine the best characteristics of the Japanese and Italians.

      1. Thanks. I’m sure you got a good insight living in Korea as well. I love Korea and always enjoy my visits there. The only misgiving I really have is the overbearing dominance of the chaebol conglomerates and they are becoming even more powerful with each passing day while the middle class keeps getting squeezed down toward the bottom.

        Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? Still, it’s even worse there than it is here and that will also be China’s main internal problem in the years ahead. The main difference between Korea and China is that the Chinese government would never allow a Chinese corporation to get as powerful and dominant as Samsung and other chaebol conglomerates.

    2. I’ve worked in Korea many times over the last 15 years or so, and noticed some pretty odd things regarding day to day operations. There’s a lot of over complication that leads to inefficiency in the work place. Everyone is still in the office at 9:00pm working on some proceedure they could easily just get rid of all together- while making less mistakes. I know that’s common elsewhere, but they take the cake.

      Even school is totally over done. Talk about book smart vs. street smart. That’s on a whole new level. It stifles the creativity/entrepreneurship. I’ve heard that from many well traveled Koreans.

      I came across an article a while ago comparing overall productivity vs. hours worked – on a country by country basis… South Korea came in dead last.

      1. Yes, it’s still very much rote-learning there and it really stifles the creativity of the kids. I went through it myself – 13 or so subjects in middle school and high school and most of it was all about memorizing textbooks from front to end.

        I also agree that Korean workers tend to put in unnecessarily long hours to make it *seem* like they’re working a lot and really hard. For one, they could never leave unless their bosses have left. Even then, there’s this weird peer pressure to stay longer.

        A business colleague in Korea told me that she once worked at Hyundai’s home shopping division that sells household goods direct to the consumers. Once, the CEO/Chairman visited the building she worked at and she said there was a siren and PA going off at every floor as he and his contingent toured the building: “The Chairman is coming! The Chairman is coming!”

        All the office workers would have to go out to the hallway and line up on each side as the Chairman and his people walked through. Then the workers would bow down their heads as the contingent approached and only lift their heads after they’ve moved on.

        When I heard this, I was incredulous. “Really?!? They *still* do that kind of stuff in the 21st century?” I’ve observed similar things in Japan. But the Chinese don’t do that kind of stuff from what I’ve observed over the years – something to do with the supposed egalitarianism of communistic idealism, I guess…

        1. I think there’s a big generation gap going on there too… During my travels there I’d been kinda mobbed by elderly Koreans. Once on the subway, just outright screaming at me… And once by a bunch of old ladies while walking with my girlfriend (who is half Chinese half White-American born). Actually the old ladies were after her, yelling and screaming… Obviously thought she was Korean (either they didn’t want a Korean dating a white guy, or they thought she was a prostitute- or both).

          I always keep some Korean Won around the bed… Yeah, it’s a bad joke, she hates when I toss it on the bed. Never gets old though!

  6. MacDailyNews Note: JoongAng Ilbo was first published on September 22, 1965 by Lee Byung-chul, the founder of Samsung Group.

    “oooh, the pain!” (spoken in a strong Dr. Smith voice!)

  7. hey, you american mother fuckers. you dig up yourself to die faster nowadays. do you think that apple can help you? the company is very selfish bastard. they also copied many things in the past. don’t be sure what apple is great isn’t really great. it became the worst virus in IT industry. we have to operate surgery for cutting it off.

    1. If your intellect is as refined as your English, you and your ilk are in serious trouble! You would do well to avoid sites such as these and, instead, wallow around in those where your native tongue is more suited to the simplistic thoughts you TRY to post here. Back under your bridge, little billy goat.

    2. Maybe you’d have been happier if Americans didn’t keep the north Koreans and Chinese from overrunning your country way back when. It would have saved a lot of American lives, that’s for sure, not to mention the billions of $$ we spend to keep our troops there as a tripwire against the glorious leader’s armies. And we wouldn’t be dealing with all the SameSang BS today.

    3. Edward, your anger is misdirected. Why not rage against the Korean author of this article in a Korean paper instead? He’s the one exposing the truth about Samsung here. Don’t shoot the messenger, Edward…

    4. Edward,

      “Samsung must reinvent itself as a first-mover, despite the huge risks involved in acting as a pioneer, if it hopes to beat the competition.”

      Apple has done this and has had great success, why hasn’t Samsung done anything?

      BTW, glad you post here because despite the offensiveness of some here, you also get the facts.

  8. There is one big thing here that seem to go unmentioned.

    This article is appearing in a Korean medium, written by a Korean writer, targeted at Korean audience. This in itself is rather remarkable, that someone in Korea is telling Koreans like it is.

    1. Yeah, that’s a bigger deal than most people realize. Makes me wonder how much of this has been covered by the Korean media.

      It’s not like the government controls the media over there, but companies like Samsung and their partners do.

      Then there’s the whole national pride thing… “Losing face”, etc.

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