Aug 5, 2012

Samsung vs Apple: America on trial?

When it comes to being 'investor friendly', 'transparent', 'fair to foreign investors' etc., it would seem that it is only the non-western nations that have to bend over backwards and do things that please the 'foreign investor' even as western nations, United States in particular, erect barrier after barrier that protects their businesses and companies and tilt scales in their favour without having to explain. On the contrary others are supposed 'understand and respect' their legal systems.

The lawyer infested, highly litigious American legal system, has already attracted a lot of negative press, even within USA. In the context of the high-tech business, patent trolls, abusive industry titans and their destructive lawsuits have attracted a lot of negative publicity and several legislators and very respected judges have taken up the case for patent reform before too much damage is done.

While Apple may not be a troll with no other business as with many other full-time trolls, many see the present dispute with Samsung as a simple case of Apple bullying Samsung by throwing money around, trying to patent anything that is 'rectangular and has glass screen'.

The American justice system is no doubt capable of delivering justice, at least in a vast majority of cases subject only to the usual human failings, and is perhaps one of the best that is out there despite all ills caused by sleaze-bag lawyers and greedy trolls. But, just as people were watching carefully lawsuits against Korean majors in Korea itself, when they are pitted against MNCs, no doubt many people are watching this particular case to see if the system can not only be fair, but also seen to be fair.

If you recall, when Samsung was fighting lawsuits in Korea itself, the usual nonsense about bias, 'investor confidence in legal system' and innuendo of that sort were thrown about by many 'independent' analysts.

Strangely the coverage in US media has been largely anti-Samsung, a lot of it propaganda fed by vested interests. If you just read western media, you may be forgiven for thinking that Samsung does nothing but copy, has no original technology and Apple is as pure as fresh snow. Anyone that has watched the tech space will know that is nonsense.

Disturbing signs are also emerging on other aspects of the case

  • While Apple is allowed to go town and shout aloud about copying, piracy and all sorts of unproven allegations, issue press releases and spread FUD by the minute, allegations that any juror can lay his hands on with a lot more ease, when Samsung presents evidence, that too stuff already in the public domain, it is seen as trying to influence jury!
  • Some reports already talk about 'home advantage' for Apple because the jury are largely from Apple's base where it obviously is a large employer and means a lot to local economy. 

The American justice system is also on trial, will it deliver? Will it be seen as doing so? Or is it not a level playing field?

Time will tell.

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