Apple vs. Samsung: Yoda vs. Count Dooku
There is a memorable Star Wars moment during the light saber duel between the fallen Jedi Count Dooku and Master Yoda during Episode II: Attack of the Clones. After several clashes of their light sabers with spinning leaps and maneuvers, Yoda finally says “Fought well you have, my old Padawan.” Count Dooku replies, “This is just the beginning.”
The lawsuit between Samsung, the smartphone market share leader and Apple, the innovator which re-invented the smartphone, continues to be a perennial battle that has only just begun with the U.S. lawsuit. Since the recent call between the Apple CEO and Samsung CEO continued the stalemate yesterday, the case will be turned over to the jury this week. After hearing three weeks of inputs from both sides, the jury will be reviewing a 36-question form (for numerous handsets and tablets) that will be used to determine which company is the Dark Side.
Yet if we review the trail that Samsung has left in prior court cases and business conduct, the preponderance of the evidence seems to show that Samsung has turned to the Dark Side of the Force to exploit the weaknesses of certain markets for six of the past eight years:
- July 7, 2004: Magistrate Judge Ronald Hedges (New Jersey District) advised the jury of adverse interference when Samsung allowed emails to be automatically deleted even after it was told to retain relevant emails. After Samsung’s appeal, Judge William Martini found “Samsung’s actions go far beyond mere negligence, demonstrating knowing and intentional conduct.”
- October 17, 2005: The U.S. Department of Justice fined Samsung nearly $300M for memory price fixing within the U.S.
- Feb. 7, 2007: U.S. government fined Samsung for $90M for memory chip price fixing for violations in 2006.
- Jan. 15, 2008: Samsung’s offices in Korea were raided after evidence showed that a slush fund was used to bribe government officials and other business leaders.
- May 19, 2010: The EU Commission fined Samsung for being part of a cartel that shared confidential information and fixed memory chip prices (along with eight other firms).
- Nov. 1, 2011: The Korean Fair Trade Commission fined Samsung for being part of a cartel that fixed prices and reduced output for TFT-LCD screens between 2001 and 2006.
- March 15, 2012: The Korean Fair Trade Commission fined Samsung for a mobile phone price fixing scheme and consumer fraud whereby consumers would by paying more than what the discounted prices advertised.