Samsung & Mobile Carriers Working to Out-Innovate Apple

Samsung Out-Innovate Apple

Following its initial defeat last week in its patent infringement battle with Apple, Samsung is moving quickly to change its products and develop new mobile technologies so that it can escape the patent stranglehold that U.S. courts have placed on the company, according to a report Wednesday from The Korea Times. While Samsung’s legal battle with Apple, pending a multitude of appeals, is far from over, the Korean company is already in talks with mobile carriers and other mobile technology companies such as Verizon Wireless and Microsoft.

“Samsung has been in talks with major U.S. carriers to jointly develop modified design technology. This will be effective, though we can’t unveil more details for the time being,” said an official from Samsung’s telecommunications division.

Last week’s jury verdict in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California was a major blow to Samsung, with the jury finding that many of the company’s key products and software infringed upon patents held by Apple. However, inconsistencies in the jury’s findings, revelations about possible juror misconduct in reaching a decision, and fundamental disagreements with legal interpretations have all led Samsung to prepare appeals for nearly every aspect of the litigation.

“Samsung was defeated in California, however, the fight isn’t over yet. The company briefly suffered from a 7.5 percent plunge in its stocks after the verdict, but the company has the capability to recover from a one-off injury. What really matters is the leadership of Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee is being put on the test as Samsung is in crisis, at least for the time being,” Kim Sang-jo, a professor of economics at Hansung University, told The Korea Times.

The two companies will face an injunction hearing on December 6 to review Apple’s request for treble damages and injunctions against the sale of several models of Samsung devices in the United States. Apple has already released its list of Samsung products that it will seek to have removed from the market.

Samsung, in addition to appealing nearly all of the court and jury’s findings, said that it would take future legal action against Apple if the Cupertino company released any future products that infringed on Samsung patents. Specifically, Samsung owns a sizable number of patents related to LTE technology.  The Korean company threatened that if Apple were to release a smartphone with the high speed data capability, as the company is widely expected to do with the next iPhone, Samsung would “immediately sue” to protect its interests.

Samsung is also looking to strengthen parts of its product line that use alternative software to Google’s Android operating system. Although Samsung is the largest maker of Android-based devices, it also distributes phones running “bada,” it’s own mobile device OS, and Windows Phone. With the imminent launch of Windows Phone 8, the next iteration of Microsoft’s mobile OS, Samsung was the first company to reveal new hardware based on the platform.

While some have argued that Apple’s patent victory will stifle innovation in the mobile device market, if Samsung and other companies can innovate around Apple’s patents, the end result may be good for both consumers and the industry.

Teaser graphic via Shutterstock.