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back to article Dead Steve Jobs 'made Tim Cook sue Samsung' from beyond the grave

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs pressured his lieutenants into suing rival Samsung even though they didn't think it was a very good idea, sources have claimed. Tim Cook, who was promoted from COO to CEO of Apple following the death of Jobs, never wanted to sue Samsung because Apple was snapping up the South Koreans' chips for …

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Gold badge

A billion dollars is still a billion dollars though. Even if they don't get any other goodies from the case, well they've still got 1 billion $1 tissues to cry into...

Of course it may have been a pyrrhic victory, for various reasons. It's still too early to say what the long-term effect will be of all these legal shennanigans on the industry. So even for a couple of $1 billion victories, I don't think I'd have taken the risk. But then I'm not running a huge corporation worth billions, so what do I know...

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Anonymous Coward

So Apple has basically earned back 12.5% of what it spends each year with Sammy...

nice rebate, but I am sure Sammy's margins are not that fine...

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however, shortly after the judgement Samgsung upped its prices to Apple by £1Bn over the course of a contract renewal. So I suspect Apple commercially isnt any better off.

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I suspect

That there will be a few years of appeals on that $1bn before we see any cash change hands. It certainly seems that there were more than enough shenanigans in the Jury room to get the whole thing reconsidered, and that's before Judge Koh's weird rulings on what could and could not be entered as evidence.

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Anonymous Coward

@Thomas Whipp

I thought the price rise had been widely debunked, along with the report that Samsung were going to stop supplying Apple with screens? Has something changed?

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Re: I suspect

there will be a few years of appeals on that $1bn before we see any cash change hands. It certainly seems that there were more than enough shenanigans in the Jury room to get the whole thing reconsidered, and that's before Judge Koh's weird rulings on what could and could not be entered as evidence.

David Hicks,

I'm sure there'll be years of appeals to look forward to. After all, for a billion dollars, it's worth making the effort. However, I'm not sure Samsung have much hope of being successful. I think there are strict limits on what notice the courts are allowed to take of interviews with the jurors afterwards. So even though some of that sounded quite dodgy (the foreman appeared to be a total numpty), I'm not sure they're going to get any joy.

As for the evidence Samsung failed to get included, wasn't that their own fault? Didn't they miss a submission deadline? If so, it's tough luck. That evidence may have changed the case, but they had every opportunity to submit it, and the lawyers all know when the deadlines are. They can't claim they didn't know, and after spending tens of millions on preparing the case, that kind of sloppiness is pathetic. Of course if it was the lawyers' fault, they might be able to sue them.

Not that I'm saying there isn't some other reason for Samsung to win. But their case being right and 'justice' are even less important at appeal than they would be at a normal trial. Appeals tend to focus on technicalities even more than trials, as judges aren't normally supposed to second-guess the juries, just to make sure they got all the right facts in the right way.

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Stop

Re: I suspect

I'm not sure if you think I'm on samsung's side or something, I'm just pointing out that there's more than enough material to keep this one dragging on for years.

It's true that I'd like to believe in a rational legal system. In a case in which the foreman of the jury admitted that he had ignored court advice, misinterpreted the law and instructed the other jurors to do the same, I'd like to believe that in the modern day and age we could look upon that as a miscarriage. I am aware that the world is not rational however.

I'm also aware that a multi-billion dollar international mega-corporation does not need the likes of me white-knighting for them, which I'm not.

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Megaphone

Re: I suspect

You forget that a lot of those patents that Samsung had been found in violation of have since been found 'invalid' by the patents office. Of course, Apple gets to appeal that decision, but if that holds up Samsung will significantly reduce their damages.

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Anonymous Coward

[citation needed]

And I mean from a verifiable source, not some journalist who heard it down the pub

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Re: I suspect

David Hicks,

I guess we mostly agree. I got the impression you thought Samsung had been unlucky to lose that case, and should have a decent chance to overturn it on appeal. I just replied with me opinion (not a legal one I hasten to add) that the obvious grounds look unlikely to work. Even if they're totally reasonable. Sadly justice and major corporate lawsuits don't exactly go hand-in-hand.

I too would like to believe in a rational legal system. Sometimes I do, many times though, I wonder...

The foreman of the jury seems to have gone on some bizarre crusade against Samsung. If we can believe his TV interviews. Very strange case indeed. It would be nice if something this obvious would be looked into - but from the judge's comments I somehow doubt it will. We shall see.

I must say I didn't think my post deserved downvotes from either Samsung or Apple fans, as I wasn't having a go at either. Unless of course it was legal fanbois, given I was being rude about the legal system. In which case I suppose I mustn't grumble...

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Big Brother

Re: I suspect

There are a number of issues with the judgment, many of which (as you correctly note) are hard (but not impossible) to challenge.

First, no-one should read much into Judge Koh's post-trial rulings on this matter; whatever she said, there was going to be an appeal, so why should she stick her neck out? She kicked the whole thing upstairs, and in the meantime prevented undue disruption (e.g. by banning sales of product).

But even if you choose to conclude that an appellate court is unlikely to overturn a jury's decision based on the jury's conduct (which is a reasonable conclusion), there is a large raft of problems awaiting Apple:

1. The amount of damages seems to have no bearing on anything much. While an appeal court may choose not to change a jury's verdict, they adjust the amounts of damages all the time (and almost always downwards).

2. Some of the features that Samsung is alleged to have infringed do not exist in the phone that the jury claims infringed. This is another downward adjustment!

3. At least one patent is provisionally invalidated (the bounce-back one), so if that prevails, Apple won't see a penny for that non-infringement.

And so on.

No reasonable observer would expect Apple to collect the $1B; the question is whether they collect a significantly reduced amount, or a retrial is ordered because it has become impossible to figure out precisely how much the jury awarded due to which patent on which phone, and why.

IF a retrial is ordered, I think it much less likely that Apple would prevail again.

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Alert

Is there anybody there?

I can just imagine Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple board sat there with a white, minimal Ouija Board, their sweaty palms resting on a puck mouse.

S...U...E...S...A...M...S...U...N...G

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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Thumb Up

Re: Is there anybody there?

damn! you beat me to this comment . top man ! (and carry of farting ;) )

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Paris Hilton

Re: Is there anybody there?

This is almost exactly what happened - it actually spelt out "Susan Sung Well On Britains Got Talent" but they were so preoccupied with the idea of suing them they chose to read into it what they wanted to hear!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there anybody there?

I think it would probably be a matte aluminium board. However, the sleek and elegant planchette would have mysteriously inadequate teflon pads, and thus would scrape in a nasty manner, scratching the surface finish after a while.

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Coat

Re: Is there anybody there?

Had it been able to do spaces, however, they would have known that it was actually a guy called Sam Sung that had pissed Jobs off once.

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Coat

Re: Is there anybody there?

Maybe they were holding it wrong?

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Holmes

Let the market decide!

That is all.

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Headmaster

One interesting aspect of this is the way corporate psychology mirrors the mind-set of .....

......certain types of individual or at least appears to. If it is indeed true that Apple's most senior managers would have preferred not to go down the judicial route and their former CEO in practice bounced them into it, why are they not now (as far as we can tell) trying to row back? Can it really be the case that loss of corporate face is the same (in the psychological sense) as individual loss of face? Is it that the individual managers feel (consciously or unconsciously) that it would be a personal loss of face for them now if they back away rather than there being any "corporate gestalt" involved? It is a curious phenomenon that has been observed in many companies over the years, not just Apple. Senior managers when defending the culture of the "managerati" in Western economies frequently claim that they take "necessary, cold, hard, calculated decisions for the benefit of the company and its shareholders" whereas in practice many of their decisions appear to have very individualistic not to say egoistic overtones.

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Unhappy

Re: why are they not now (as far as we can tell) trying to row back?

Actually that one is fairly easy. Once you've deployed the lawyers, it's not over until either a) the lawyers say it is, or b) it's so obviously going to cost more to pursue it than you can possibly get out of it at the end, that no one will question dropping the suit. As things stand now, if Apple drop the suit, an upset shareholder can bring suit against them for failure to fulfill fiduciary responsibility and they're losing money on the case no matter how it comes out.

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iJa board anyone?

Maybe Steve is communing still with his Board on Earth.

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Couldn't Samsung...

...refuse to sell components to Apple? Would stop the oppositions sales dead till they found another supplier to make the relevant chips. Then Samsung could sue for coping components.

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Re: Couldn't Samsung...

They could stop supplying but if you ran a company would you turn away over $8 billion of business?

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Re: Couldn't Samsung...

And because Apple designed the chip, Samsung just make it..

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g e
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Re: Couldn't Samsung...

They'd also have supply contracts with breach penalties for either side and cost/price review milestones/clauses built in which is why Sammy recently put a rocket under their prices, most likely, in anticipation of A. Apple going elsewhere and B. Apple winning some judgement.

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Re: Couldn't Samsung...

It sounds like if Steve Jobs had been running Samsung, he would have stopped supplying Apple long ago.

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Bronze badge

Re: Couldn't Samsung...

They probably have contracts that require them to deliver. Failure to perform could lead to other, and far more justified, lawsuits as well as reducing any good will they may have with other customers. This is a nonstarter for a manager capable of rational thought.

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What! act like grown ups?

How are all those lawyers going to make a killing, err sorry, make a living if companies do that

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Terminator

Funny but,...

I don't recall Mr. Cook dropping any law suits since he took over as Apple CEO in Aug 2011.

He could have calmed tensions post-Steve and negotiated with Samsung with mutually beneficial terms. Instead he continued, and some would argue increased, the vitriol.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Funny but,...

Remember, this is story based on a Reuters story, based on claims by Reuters' writers Dan Levine et al. they were told by people with knowledge...

Until Paris Hilton and the National Enquirer make a definite statement, we'll still be in the dark about all this.

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Re: Funny but,...

@NoneSuch I agree. Cook had the opportunity, and the justification. The Cancer had made Jobs pretty much crazy in the last couple of years prior to his death. Unfortunately as I've seen from multiple family members in the last few years, Cancer (combined with the treatments for it, and then the treatments for the side effects for the treatments) have a tendency to make folks irrational, angry, paranoid, bat-crap crazy on occasion, and sometimes requiring a 24x7 watch to keep them from leaving the house in the middle of the night. Cancer is a mean SOB when it comes to stripping every bit of humanity from you before finally killing you off... *sigh*

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Re: Funny but,...

Well, except that huge HTC settlement in November 2012 and the related ITC dispute... (huge in terms of litigation, not necessarily in terms of money).

The "Funny but" would seem to be your recollection, not reality!

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Re: Funny but,...

Which doesn't explain why he was a dick the rest of his entire life.

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Mushroom

Re: Funny but,...

Steve... mean?

Surely not; he was Buddhist!

Which is a fucking joke. He was the closest Buddhism has had to an anti-Christ.

An entire religion based around not giving a shit about materialism, letting go of jealousy and resentment, being decent and forgiving to people so they are decent and forgiving and the world is a better place and Steve claims to be a fucking believer. Balls.

This is the guy who helms the most successful, rich and morally bankrupt firm on Earth, makes the entire fucking planet want to spend £400 on a smartphone and feel smug about it, gets pretty much everyone shout at everyone else over their choice of fucking phone and buys a new car every fucking month. And he claimed he was Buddhist. Joself fucking Stalin was a better Buddhist than Jobs.

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Well I never...

"like the pair of firms would be better off burying the blunt hatchet and getting on with making mobes in peace"

That's got to be one of the most sensible statements I've seen on El Reg - from either journo OR commenter - regarding this whole patentfest...

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Joke

Re: Well I never...

but, but, but.....

WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE LAWYERS!!

Anybody?

...

Anybody?

...

Apparently not

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Re: Well I never...

"like the pair of firms would be better off burying the blunt hatchet and getting on with making mobes in peace"

Yes but a whole load of lawyers wouldn't then be able to live in the lap of luxury, so they are not about to let that happen.

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Jobs

Good decision: To recognise that Samsung would be their biggest competitor, even when they weren't really a player (at the time).

Bad decision: To litigate, rather than innovate. At the time Apple had the market by the throat, and could easily have continued their dominance if they'd kept up the pace of progress introduced in the iphone 1 & 3G, instead of resting on laurels and suing. Removing 8bn of revenue from Samsung by changing to another, non-mobile making supplier would also have been a far more effective action than litigation.

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Re: Jobs

Apple: "we've made a white rectangular phone with rounded corners, which has STT&TTS, what else is there to innovate???"

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Re: Jobs

"Removing 8bn of revenue from Samsung by changing to another, non-mobile making supplier..."

Which other supplier though?

The snag is that Samsung have been coming up with really essential innovations, hence their patents which Apple needs to use under FRAND. Because Samsung have put time and money into technical R&D, they may have an advantage when designing components to exploit the technologies and standards which they have developed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jobs

Let me see, deconstructing and paraphrasing, you claim must therefore be that Apple have;

a: failed to innovate since iPhone 3G and rested

b: failed to adjust their supply chain away from Samsung when the opportunity arose

So, the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 constitute zero innovation. Having actually upgraded from a 3GS to a 5, I can tell you that your position is false.

As for Apple's supply chain, well there are plenty of guesses and precious little knowledge floating about (as you would expect in a rational world). However, at some point, should we see the Samsung content in iPhones declining (as I confidently predict), your position will also have been falsified.

The implicit idea that suing negates the possibility of realigning the supply chain is logically broken.

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FAIL

Re: Jobs @JohnG

Name one.

Better still, name one component supplied by Samsung in the current iPhone 5 that could not reasonably be sourced from another supplier. Remember that the principle of patent exhaustion applies to all manufacturers of components, not just Samsung. Samsung do not have any monopoly on 3G FRAND patents by definition, so you idea is logically broken.

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Re: Jobs

I'm pretty sure Samsung have outsold Apple for quite a while in mobiles, not just recently - it's unclear if Apple were ever ahead. And Apple were never number one - especially if you're talking the timescales of iphone 1/3G, the sales were lower than Symbian, BlackBerry and even Windows Mobile. Although I agree choosing to litigate rather than innovate is sad.

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FAIL

Re: Jobs

Fuck you're a moron Mark.

"Although I agree choosing to litigate rather than innovate is sad."

This statement assumes that litigation and innovation are mutually exclusive. This is provably untrue, if nothing else using proof by existence.

Since Apple have indeed litigated, your statement requires Apple NOT to have innovated.

So, you need to have a very narrow definition of Innovate (probably one that you only apply to Apple) for your statement to be logically coherent - remember, the definition must result in a demonstration that Apple has NOT innovated.

Choose your definition of "innovate" and, using it's opposite we shall see how other manufacturers compare, shall we?

One despairs for the future of humanity with the level of innate stupidity displayed on these forums.

(Down vote away, it will not change the truth of my post, not the logical flaw of the OP)

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HBT

Re: Jobs

>> So, the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 constitute zero innovation. Having actually upgraded from a 3GS to a 5, I can tell you that your position is false.

AHA...AHAHAHA...AHAAAAAAHAAAAA..NOOOO STOP!

You might want to look up what "innovation" means. Hints:: 1) removing OS limitations (that competitors don't have) doesn't count, and 2) cutting and pasting in your competitors innovative parts (screens, CPUs, etc) doesn't count either.

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Facepalm

Re: Jobs

So your definition of "innovation" in mobile phone technology excludes hardware and manufacturing process then. Is that correctly understood?

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HBT

Re: Jobs

Many people make shiny hi-tech products.

Their only industrial design innovation that I can think of was to integrate the antenna with the case, and we know how that turned out ;-)

Oh..and the rounded corners.

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Thumb Down

Re: Jobs

"(Down vote away, it will not change the truth of my post, not the logical flaw of the OP)"

You get the down-votes more for being a rude, reactionary jerk-off who's had to resort to name calling in order to try and defend their point, I feel.

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LPF

Appel one..

While the S2 was a blatant ripoff of the 4 and 4S , the S3 had to be made different to avoid them getting strung up. Samsung is forced to basically give away the S3 with a packet of crisps, yes it makes money, but it does not make apple money on the S3. It will never have the cachet of the iPhone, and it means that the first time another andrioid maker comes up with a better design they will go the way of the RAZOR

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Silver badge

Re: Appel one..

The iPhone doesn't really have any cachet any more though. It's the most common phone around.

When everyone is the same no one is special.

If I see someone I know brandishing an iPhone proudly I just adopt Lili Von Shtupp's accents and say "Oh an iPhone...how ordinewy!"

You should see their little faces drop. Awww bless.

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