Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Memo: ‘Stealing Isn’t Right’

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Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a memo to the company’s corporate employees late on Friday after the company’s landslide win in court. A federal jury ruled that Samsung had willfully copied Apple in bringing some of its smartphones and tablets to market, and Mr. Cook said he hopes it sends a message that “stealing isn’t right.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook

The note specifically echoes Apple’s PR statement released after the ruling, including the point that Apple’s suit was about, “more than patents or money,” that it was about values.

The note in full, as obtained by 9to5Mac.

Today was an important day for Apple and for innovators everywhere.

Many of you have been closely following the trial against Samsung in San Jose for the past few weeks. We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work. For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the jury who invested their time in listening to our story. We were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than we knew.

The jury has now spoken. We applaud them for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.

I am very proud of the work that each of you do.

Today, values have won and I hope the whole world listens.

Tim

While Apple did score a substantial victory in Friday’s verdict, there is still a long road in front of the company. Samsung has promised to appeal, and Apple still has at least one injunction hearing in front of it, and any ruling from Judge Lucy Koh in that hearing will also likely be appealed.

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15 Comments Leave Your Own

Ion_Quest

So the 30% overhead Apple charges developers for the privilege of supporting the Mac platform shouldn’t be called “Stealing”.  Perhaps Gouging sounds more civilized.

geoduck

It’s no more stealing or gouging than the markup your local Wallmart or Target applies. It’s no more stealing or gouging than the few percent Visa and MasterCard hit the retailer with for supporting their platform. It’s no more stealing or gouging than the shipping and handling fees NewEgg, or Amazon apply.

It’s called the price of doing business and it has nothing to do with ripping off someone else’s work.

ibuck

@Ion Quest: Just curious, are you a developer?

What do you think would be fair for Apple to charge for providing all the server space, app store development, description and review space, secure environment for end-users, etc?

BurmaYank

”... We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work...
...The jury has now spoken. We applaud them for ...sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn?t right...”

This entire message of Tim’s is, instead, what Apple should post in its mandated ad notices, to be taken in the prominent UK journals specified (i.e. - The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, Mobile Magazine and T3 magazine) & on all of Apple’s European Union websites, in accordance with the ruling by UK Judge Colin Birss that Apple must place notices stating that Samsung hadn?t copied Apple’s iDevices.

Ion_Quest

@ibuck: I was a small Mac-only game developer and 25+ year Mac-only user.  Former customers contact me weekly to ask about the latest Mac version.  BootCamp anyone?

I feel a charge of 20% would be much more realistic for the services you mentioned.  Unfortunately, all competitors seem to be adopting Apple’s generous 30% tax—Amazon, MS, etc.  I currently pay less than 12% overhead.

Apple’s recent approach is brilliant capitalism.  The Mac and iOS App stores are driving down the price of software so that users can justify rather expensive Apple hardware.  iOS games are almost free and Mac s/w prices are plummeting. One well known drawing program went from $60, to $30 and now $15. Lose a little on each sale and make it up in volume?

Just my minority opinion…

geoduck

I seem to remember reading multiple reports about how much more developers make off of iOS app sales than Android or other platforms.
If you’re developing for the Mac you don’t HAVE to sell through the MacApp store.

Ion_Quest

@geoduck: Everything is relative I suppose.  An article on ARS Technica suggests that less than 40% of iOS developers break-even. Though trendy, I wouldn’t suggest any mobile platform for small/young developers.  Believe the all require a 30% tax.  Collusion?

gnasher729

So the 30% overhead Apple charges developers for the privilege of supporting the Mac platform shouldn?t be called ?Stealing?.? Perhaps Gouging sounds more civilized.

There is nothing that gives you access and visibility to more Mac users than the App Store. Getting 70% of RRP is something that developers selling through brick & mortar stores or Internet retailers can only dream of. And when a customer buys an app with $9.99 RRP, that means that Apple will pay out $7.00 to the developer, but it doesn’t mean that Apple even gets $9.99. For example when someone buys a $50 gift voucher, Apple gets a lot less than $50 and still pays the full 70% to developers.

So I’d say if you complain about Apple’s cut there, you are completely ignorant of the realities of retail.

Ion_Quest

@gnasher729: Yet another Apple worshiper? The old “brick & mortar stores” retail argument is ancient history.(Folks always rely on it for overhead discussions though). Do Apple customers buy software unless it’s on-line?  Can you buy OSX at any store?  Does Apple hardware still support CDs?  Do Apple’s beautiful physical stores even carry boxed software?  Realities of retail?  Hmmm.

I am pleased to hear that Apple is Fair to software partners.  Thanks.  May the profits be with them.

Rob B

Apple & Tim Cook are the poster child for hypocrites - Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs ?we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas?

jfbiii

I guess…but…when was the last time that Apple produced a laptop or an iPod or a desktop system that was an outright clone of someone else’s product that they put in the same-style packaging and sold in the same-style store that they erected a block away from the originating company’s store?

Samsung is beyond “me too” at this point. They jumped the shark awhile back when even the designs for their chargers were copied. There’s a reason the jury came back so fast: Samsung was blatant. They didn’t aim for making a product similar because it was in the same class of product, they aimed for a look-alike product with a Samsung logo on it. From that standpoint, this verdict is an acknowledgement that they did a good job.

Bryan Chaffin

Apple & Tim Cook are the poster child for hypocrites - Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs ?we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas?

That’s a great rallying cry for Apple-haters, especially those who want it to be OK for Apple’s competitors to rip off Apple’s inventions, but it’s utter nonsense.

That quote from decades ago was about using ideas from outside the computer world and bringing them into the work being done at Apple and NeXT. To wit, art and design aesthetics.

It was not about ripping off technologies and R&D from other computer companies.

Julez

Hey Apple, Parc-Xerox is still waiting on those royalties owed to them when you ripped off the mouse from them.

Bryan Chaffin

No they aren’t, Julez.  Apple made an agreement with Xerox that allowed Apple to enter the PARC, spend X amount of time with the engineers there, and then use whatever they took away from the experience.  For this, Xerox was allowed to invest $1 million in Apple before Apple went public..

That’s right, Xerox paid Apple to license the ideas it took from the PARC.

In case that doesn’t make sense, the shares Xerox bought underwent an 8x split and were worth more than $17 million when Apple went public about a year later.

Apple has done plenty of things I take issue with, but “stealing” from the Xerox PARC is simply not one of them.

ibuck

Bryan Chaffin: Xerox paid Apple to license the ideas it took from the PARC.

I did not realize this deal, which is confirmed by The New Yorker (May 2011), happened. Bill Atkinson, Jef Raskin and other Apple engineers made several visits to Xerox PARC, and Apple’s mouse, GUI and other OS features EVOLVED from those visits. The article is a great read about this deal and about fostering creativity. Perhaps beancounter Tim Cook should read it. By the way, Douglas Engelbart, at Stanford Research Institute, not Xerox, invented the computer mouse. Xerox developed it and Apple marketed it.

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