Samsung’s record of IP theft, other ruthless business tactics, and why Apple might win the battles but still lose the war

“On August 4, 2010, amid the bustle of downtown Seoul, a small group of executives from Apple Inc. pushed through the revolving door into a blue-tinted, 44-story glass tower, ready to fire the first shot in what would become one of the bloodiest corporate wars in history,” Kurt Eichenwald writes for Vanity Fair. “The showdown had been brewing since spring, when Samsung launched the Galaxy S, a new entry into the smartphone market. Apple had snagged one early overseas and gave it to the iPhone team at its Cupertino, California, headquarters. The designers studied it with growing disbelief. The Galaxy S, they thought, was pure piracy. The overall appearance of the phone, the screen, the icons, even the box looked the same as the iPhone’s. Patented features such as “rubber-banding,” in which a screen image bounces slightly when a user tries to scroll past the bottom, were identical. Same with “pinch to zoom,” which allows users to manipulate image size by pinching the thumb and forefinger together on the screen. And on and on.”

“Steve Jobs, Apple’s mercurial chief executive, was furious. His teams had toiled for years creating a breakthrough phone, and now, Jobs fumed, a competitor—an Apple supplier no less!—had stolen the design and many features. Jobs and Tim Cook, his chief operating officer, had spoken with Samsung president Jay Y. Lee in July to express their concern about the similarities of the two phones but received no satisfactory response,” Eichenwald writes. “”

“After weeks of delicate dancing, of smiling requests and impatient urgings, Jobs decided to take the gloves off. Hence the meeting in Seoul. The Apple executives were escorted to a conference room high in the Samsung Electronics Building, where they were greeted by about half a dozen Korean engineers and lawyers. Dr. Seungho Ahn, a Samsung vice president, was in charge, according to court records and people who attended the meeting. After some pleasantries, Chip Lutton, then Apple’s associate general counsel for intellectual property, took the floor and put up a PowerPoint slide with the title ‘Samsung’s Use of Apple Patents in Smartphones,'” Eichenwald writes. “Then he went into some of the similarities he considered especially outrageous, but the Samsung executives showed no reaction. So Lutton decided to be blunt. ‘Galaxy copied the iPhone,’ he said. ‘What do you mean, copied?’ Ahn replied. ‘Exactly what I said,’ Lutton insisted. ‘You copied the iPhone. The similarities are completely beyond the possibility of coincidence.’ Ahn would have none of it. ‘How dare you say that,’ he snapped. ‘How dare you accuse us of that!’ He paused, then said, ‘We’ve been building cell phones forever. We have our own patents, and Apple is probably violating some of those.'”

“The message was clear. If Apple executives pursued a claim against Samsung for stealing the iPhone, Samsung would come right back at them with a theft claim of its own,” Eichenwald writes. “The battle lines were drawn… Conversations eventually broke off, and Jobs grew increasingly eager to take Samsung to court and fight. [Then Apple COO Tim] Cook continued counseling patience, arguing that it would be better to have a negotiated resolution than to duke it out with a company of such importance to Apple’s business. Then, in late March 2011, Samsung introduced its latest tablet computer, this time with a 10-inch screen. It struck Apple executives as a knockoff of the company’s second version of its tablet, and they weren’t surprised: Samsung had already proclaimed that it would change its own model to rival the iPad 2. Cook’s caution was shoved aside. On April 15, 2011, the company filed a federal lawsuit in California against Samsung for infringing on the patents of both the iPhone and the iPad.”

Tons more in the full article – very highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take:

I don’t know which is worse: Samsung’s slavish copying or that there are tens of millions of dullards and/or morally-crippled consumers who would buy such obvious knockoffs. What kind of person rewards thieves, especially such obvious ones? What kind of person hands over their money to make sure that crime pays? What’s wrong with you people, exactly?

It makes me sad that there are outfits like Samsung Electronics on the planet, as I was with Microsoft before them. People who work for Samsung Electronics should be ashamed. It makes me even sadder to see people supporting blatant criminals, whether it be blindly or, worse, knowingly. To those people I say: Get some morals, will you, or how about at least acquiring a modicum of taste?

What you’re doing is supporting criminal activity. It’s like you’re buying knockoff Coach handbags, but you’re paying pretty much the Coach price! Not too smart, eh? Oh, sure, you might have “saved” a bit upfront on your fake iPhone (maybe you got one of those Buy One Get One or More Free deals), but you’re paying the same data rates – after a couple years, you’ve pretty much paid the same anyway! So, in the end, you’re saving little or nothing while:

a) depriving the company who basically inspired your inferior, fragmented product;
b) depriving yourself of the real deal and the real experience, and;
c) rewarding the criminal, encouraging them to steal even more.

Not a lot of sense being made in any aspect of your toting around that Android phone, is there? Oh, right it’s “open.” Smirk. And, yes, every one of us with the real thing knows that you’re carrying around a half-assed fake, you tasteless wonder.

Didn’t you people have parents? If so, what did they teach you, if anything? Sheesh.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, August 6, 2012

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


  1. They are morally and ethically bankrupt human-like lifeforms. They eat cats and dogs, as well. Hopefully, the even more depraved north will nuke them.

    1. What an abomination of a post. How dare you post such insane drivel. I think you were clearly trolling in an attempt to paint yourself as a typical Apple fanboy, but none of us who post here regularly are that inhumane.

      1. No, the post is fine. Koreans are the abomination and have been for centuries. Just ask their neighbors. They have just adjusted their most unbecoming behavior to suit the new world conditions.

        Please save the kumbaya rantings for your church meetings.

        1. You mean like how America ended chattel slavery, stopped lynching black people by the hundreds and no longer entertains the thought of nuking whole cities as a geopolitical show of strength? Everybody has “adjusted their most unbecoming behavior to suit the new world conditions,” you racist numbskull.

          And you’re the one who could stand to benefit from a couple church meetings.

          1. I think you’ll find that Great Britain ended slavery in 1833, America didn’t stop until thirty years later.
            Please try to get your historical facts straight.

            1. Pull your head out of your ass, Rorschach. The discussion was obviously within the context of domestic policy. Who would think that I meant the end of slavery, period, when it remains an ongoing struggle around the world today?

              And slavery didn’t “stop” in America in 1863. That was when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a war time directive with strict limitations based on his executive powers as Commander in Chief. Slavery in America wasn’t officially abolished until the 13th Amendment was formally ratified in 1865. I think you’re the one who needs to brush up on history.

  2. This is a very good article from VF. I suggest we all use as another reference for the lying Apple Haters that are clearly in red alert this week. The web is full of amazing nonsense from these subhuman trolls.

    1. Title: “why Apple might win the battles but still lose the war”

      I haven’t seen or heard anything suggesting that Apple is doing things wrong and will lose anything, much less a war in any near future.

      1. Perhaps the story suggest that no matter what you do and how many time Samsung is caught, it will not change their corrupt business practice. Eventually wearing down the competition till they can’t compete with cheap lower priced knockoffs.

    2. $119 million isn’t much. Certainly not the billion plus that they were originally awarded. Plus Apple even has to pay Samsung a little bit. Hardly a victory for Apple.

    1. They are all massing on CNET, ZDNET and all the other sites that non tech savvy consumers go to. The plan is to brainwash neophytes into thinking that supporting a US Garage Startup company like Apple is evil.

      Supporting a Foreign Company that practices illegal activities and cheap knockoffs like Samsung is good.

  3. May those who masterminded Samsung’s criminal business model succumb to virulent necrotizing fasciitis, unless they already have, which would explain their monstrous behaviour

  4. Ultimately Apple need to move their component supply away from Samsung. But as the article clearly states Samsung are adept at stealing tech and doing anything to kill competitors. So Apple will need to be very clever in gradually taking way their business from Samsung.
    I’m sure Tim Cook is working those angles and building up a supplier base that will compete with Samsung and be able to starve off the underhanded attacks that will no doubt ensue.
    Samsung has deep pockets but Apple is smarter and wealthier. It will take time but in the end Apple will prevail.

  5. Korean business tactics are well known to those in the industry. It doesn’t matter whether the disagreement is with a wife, lover, business partner or competitor. Korean business tactics almost revel in using force, lies and deceit.

    The article covers some of it. I had a friend who use to have Korean clients in the import business and he quickly became soured on representing them as he could never figure out what was true, unless he just assumed everything was a lie.

    1. Amazing story in Vanity Fair exposing Samsung’s international crime wave.

      Samsung is the vital part of the Korean economy and thus has the Korean politicians, Korean government and for all we know Lucy Koh also in their pocket. Koreans seem to accept this corrupt existence because they are strongly nationalistic and of one mind.

      It is a shame that the U.S. could lose thousands of military lives defending such an immoral country. Maybe we should pull all our thousands of military out of this corrupt nation and cut our potential loses.

  6. These days after the passing of Steve Jobs Apple’s idea factory has run dry. The best they can do with iOS 7 is to copy and rip off features from Android, Samsung TouchWiz, WebOS and Windows Phone 8. There’s no originality left in Apple. Cook & Ive have turned Apple into the world’s biggest copying machine, bar none. Sad but true.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.