Two U.S. juries have found that Samsung willfully copied Apple innovations and technologies, and those cases established that Samsung willfully and deliberately set out to copy the iPhone. A five page spread in Vanity Fair digs deeper into Samsung's corporate culture, detailing how Samsung used willful patent infringement not just as a crutch, but as a deliberate, bottom feeding strategy.
Apple's Original iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S
Apple's epic patent infringement battle with Samsung serves as the ostensible foundation of the article, but at the heart of the matter is a clear pattern of deliberate infringement by Samsung. When sued for that infringement, the company's strategy is to launch counter suits, delays, and to eventually settle just before its products get banned in one market or another.
Victims include Sharp, Pioneer, Kodak, and Apple, just to name some of the highest profile companies. What makes the pattern particularly appalling to anyone with a sense of fairness and the value of earned profits is that Samsung also has a pattern of using those stalling tactics and the copied technologies to take market share away from the real innovators.
In the case of Pioneer, for instance, though Samsung settled with the company after years of delays, Pioneer ended up shutting down its TV brand shortly after Samsung finally paid up.
This is what has happened in the smartphone market, where today's Samsung devices bear much less resemblance to Apple's, but gained entry into that market only because of its original and willful infringement. When the iPhone was first introduced, Samsung was a bit player in the smartphone market, but after identifying 126 points where the iPhone was superior to its smartphone offerings—and copying many of those points—Samsung was able to take significant share based on that copying.
The article also profiles Samsung's history of price fixing in multiple markets over the decades, of bribery and other forms of corruption, and for generally being a bottom feeding corporate douche bag. In the words of Sam Baxter, a patent attorney who once worked for Samsung:
They never met a patent they didn’t think they might like to use, no matter who it belongs to. I represented [Swedish telecommunications company] Ericsson, and they couldn’t lie if their lives depended on it, and I represented Samsung and they couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it.
Perhaps this is why Samsung constantly feels the need to tell people its product are innovative. In a recent Galaxy S5 commercial, Samsung overlays the text "The most innovative," forgetting that when you have to tell people something good about yourself, it's probably not true.
Check out the full article for much more on the topic.