Samsung’s attorney says Apple can’t stop Android in the courtroom

Judge Koh instructing the new Apple v Samsung jury.

Last week we saw yet another ongoing patent dispute between Apple and Samsung end in court, and Samsung’s attorney John Quinn believes the final conclusion to Apple’s patent chase with Android may soon be approaching. In a recent interview, Quinn expressed his view that Apple should give up their effort to go after Android in court.

“Up to this point, I think Apple really hadn’t given up hope [it] could cripple Android somehow,” John Quinn said in an interview with CNET. “This has got to be the last straw. They’ve got to realize they’re not going to slow Android down by suing people.”

Samsung, of course, was ordered to pay $119 million after it was decided the Korean company did infringe upon a number of patents held by Apple, but even that was a small victory for Apple as it was seeking $2 billion in damages. Apple still praised the jury’s decision despite the mixed results from the trial, but you have to wonder if the lackluster results could indeed mean the end of these trials as Samsung’s attorney believes.

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“They (Apple) have nothing to show for the hundreds of million of dollars they’ve spent,” Quinn said. “I’m sure they’re looking for a graceful exit. … I’m pretty sure the Apple smartphone wars against Android are a thing with a limited future.”

While Quinn spins the sum of all Apple’s efforts to pursue patent litigation based on Android as a net loss for Apple, the message from Apple in both major trials was a positive one. After the most recent trial, Apple told Re/code:

“We are grateful to the jury and the court for their service,” Apple told Re/code. “Today’s ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products. We are fighting to defend the hard work that goes into beloved products like the iPhone, which our employees devote their lives to designing and delivering for our customers.”

The previous major trial even summoned a message from Apple CEO Tim Cook to the entire company. Within that message, Cook cited defending the company’s work and ‘values’:

The jury has now spoken. We applaud them for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.

I am very proud of the work that each of you do.

Today, values have won and I hope the whole world listens.

But earlier in the memo, Cook noted that Apple preferred not to sue Samsung and that the company was not necessarily taking action because of the potential loss of money involved:

We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work. For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money.

With that type of influence in mind, it’s difficult to predict if the lackluster results of the most recent trial will impact future decisions to pursue patent litigation.

Samsung has since appealed the decision reached by the jury (and Apple could appeal the decision that it owes Samsung $158,000 as was decided last week) so it’s certainly not the end of the Apple v. Samsung patent litigation story yet, but ask Samsung’s Quinn believes, this most recent trial could be one of the last big efforts to battle it out in court… but probably not if history is any indicator.

After all, the previous major trial eventually did net Apple $890 million on behalf of Samsung, which operationally is a small token, but such victories certainly do not go without sending a certain message despite not having any tangible effect.

(Image via Flickr)

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  1. Shashwat Parhi - 9 years ago

    “Well so as long we can stop you from copying us, Samsung, we have achieved what we have been hoping to, through the courts” – Apple

  2. fredhstein - 9 years ago

    Samsung losses $120M plus legal fees on top of prior loss of $1B and declares victory. John Quinn must have read Scott Adam’s “What would Wally do?”

    • Exactly. Let’s see whether Samsung’s Tizen mobile OS become their preferred choice despite the high bar it will have to achieve just to match Android. You could say they’re building their own OS to have more control and integration, but I don’t think you can say the patents and legal pressure has 0 influence on this decision.

      • mikhailt - 9 years ago

        You need to remember the lawyers win regardless of what the company loses or wins. Those high-end law firms get fees regardless of the outcome.

      • rettun1 - 9 years ago

        In pure Samsung style, I think tizen will be very similar to other other offerings, namely android.

  3. Chris Denny (@dennyc69) - 9 years ago

    Mr Quinn, you work for thieves, you’re an attorney that represents thieves, and you clearly don’t get while Apple is suing Samsung evidently. Stealing someone else’s ideas and calling them your own is stealing. How hard can that be for you to figure out?

  4. Michael Perry - 9 years ago

    Apple should just commit to out innovating them (Samsung), and provide new features that customers want and have been asking for; especially those that aide in productivity. They should also not drag their feet when there is customers demand for something that in their words ‘they do not have’. Screw the legal system, make better devices, with better features and listen to customers then destroy Samsung with your sales… the end.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      Take your “innovate, don’t litigate” and shove it.

    • frankman91 - 9 years ago

      Completely agree! They argue over phones that were out like 6 years ago over green phone icons and scroll bounce, and claim that its hurting sales. If they want keep or gain market share keep working on your products, end of story.

      • mikhailt - 9 years ago

        You do realize the courts are very slow moving right? It takes years to start the process and then by the time they’re in the court, years have passed by.

        The second lawsuit is about the time of events 3 years ago, where the first lawsuit was much further back.

        The upcoming third lawsuit is for the more recent devices such as Galaxy 4/5.

      • o0smoothies0o - 9 years ago

        Scroll bounce is absolutely a feature that is HUGE. I would absolutely purchase the device that had this over the device that didn’t. Same with inertia scrolling. These features might seem little but they make the OS about a trillion times better. They are worth A LOT of money in my opinion.

      • ok so lets say you had this great idea. Then someone copies your same idea after hearing you talk about it. you are saying that you would just forget about it? You must be the weakest in the business if you would let someone take your idea and not do anything about it. I for one would not give up. Anyone in their right mind would not give up.

      • They do both: it’s not like they’re pulling engineers off of projects in order to hold these court cases.

      • frankman91 - 9 years ago

        I am not arguing that they are not similar products, I am arguing that this issue is not unique to two cell phones.

        Walk down the appliance isle at Lowes and look at washing machines; they are are almost indistinguishable. If I took the badge off my refrigerator at home I would challenge anyone to tell me who made it. Then look at mid-sized SUV’s across all brands, same thing; then go to BestBuy and look at TV’s, all look and operate exactly the same. This is how EVERYTHING is.

        In my opinion; you should not be able to patent placing the equal sing button on the lower left corner of a calculator. If that someone squeaked through the patent office, it should be tossed when challenged.

        I don’t for the life of me understand why anyone not financially benefiting from these patents wants to see them upheld. No matter which side of the phone divide you are on, you stand to gain massively by the common use of features. It drives better products and better refinement. These patents only benefit shareholders (tipping my hat that you may be one), and the companies. Defending them just benefit layers and can often damage all brand imaging.

        o0smoothies0o; you say you would buy a product simply because it had scroll bounce; while I find that strange, but how do you lose if ALL phones had it, then you could move on and decide on a second feature that you also like. You can still get an iPhone, but how do you lose in that case.

        Trust me, I am a product engineer for a living, and a garage inventor on the weekends. I also have a patent pending for a senior design project from college. If someone was stealing my idea I would be angry, but I am also not trying to patent a green phone icon or a device with a touch screen and round corners.I see the value of patenting an original idea or process, but at the same time some of these patents are insane to me. Some of the people I went to engineering school with moved on to be patent layers and they laugh at how vague these patents are.

    • Robert Rooney - 9 years ago

      They did out innovate Samsung. And Samsung stole their innovation and adopted it as their own so that they stay competitive, hence the lawsuit.

    • Daniel L. Lau - 9 years ago

      Apple should just commit to out innovating them (Samsung), and provide new features that customers want and have been asking for; especially those that aide in productivity. They should also not drag their feet when there is customers demand for something that in their words ‘they do not have’. Screw the legal system, make better devices, with better features and listen to customers then destroy Samsung with your sales… the end.

      • Daniel L. Lau - 9 years ago

        Completely agree! They argue over phones that were out like 6 years ago over green phone icons and scroll bounce, and claim that its hurting sales. If they want keep or gain market share keep working on your products, end of story.

      • rlowhit - 9 years ago

        Did you just have a comment and reply to yourself?

      • Daniel L. Lau - 9 years ago

        Did you just have a comment and reply to yourself?

    • So you want Apple to release a bunch of useless features that don’t work 85% of the time? Apple is a perfectionist company, not a company that likes to add features that look like they are in early beta stages. Samsung is good, I admit, but they are the worst innovators of this time. They rush everything they do, just look at the Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner. It doesn’t even recognize your finger unless you swipe in a straight line. If you have a case that covers a bit of the front, you’re screwed, the case will prevent smooth swipes with the fingerprint scanner. Samsung to me is just a sad company that just doesn’t know how to play the game fair and right. They lie, they steal, they pay people to do their dirty work. They are a disgrace to the world of technology.

    • Len Williams - 9 years ago

      OK, I’m really tired of this “Apple should innovate” crap. Apple was the innovator that ALL the other smartphone companies have copied, and that Google copied to come up with Android in the first place. I keep hearing that other companies are now “more innovative” than Apple, but I never hear any specifics, only generalities. Just what industry-changing innovations has Samsung and Google come up with? Specifics only please. Bells and whistles need not apply. Give me the exact features that Apple customers “have been demanding” and supposedly aren’t getting.

      You look at this as someone who is completely uninvolved except as a consumer. If you worked for years developing a product, then had someone come along and scoop up all your great ideas, form and functionality, you’d be very upset. You’d be royally pissed and would want them to stop, or at least license the technology from you. However, since this doesn’t involve your own years of work and millions of dollars, you’re OK with Apple just ignoring the theft of billions of dollars of technology. You are a true, self-absorbed, insulated consumer.

    • rettun1 - 9 years ago

      They did make better devices. They were called the iPhone and the ipad, and those innovations didn’t stop Samsung and others from taking a few ideas from them

  5. Len Williams - 9 years ago

    Samsung’s lawyers and their attitudes are identical with hardened criminals. They don’t get the point of the whole trial. Apple says “You’ve copied our products wholesale. Stop it!” and Samsung’s response is “You’ll never stop us in court.” Like the hardened criminal, they never see that what they’re doing is wrong or damaging to others, even when it’s proved in court and get hit with a whopping fine for doing so. Just like the hardened criminal immediately reverts to a life of crime after being released from jail, everything is “somebody else’s fault. I haven’t done nothin’.”

    The basic thing that just doesn’t seem to be part of Samsung’s DNA is the idea that property, including intellectual property, actually belongs to someone. The right thing to do is to license someone else’s technology, or come up with your own that is different and unique. Criminals also have a bad sense of property, and think nothing of stealing what someone else has. The only bad thing about stealing, according to the criminal mind, is the potential of being caught. Samsung’s entire corporate philosophy is based around a criminal attitude of taking from others without paying for it.

    Take a look at their most recent “copyright filing” for their Siri-like voice assistant. The icon they’re trying to copyright (i.e. saying it’s ours, don’t copy it) is a nearly exact copy of Siri’s icon. How’s that for some mental and ethical gymnastics?

    • myfantasticshow - 9 years ago

      You’re using the word property as if it was the holy name. How fascinating a world where businessmen like Tim Crook use pseudo-spiritual language when they’re talking about their bank account. “Much more than patents or money” my ass, sir.

  6. Gregory Wright - 9 years ago

    Hey, Mr. Quinn, Apple would be happy if you paid the licensing fees. I don’t think Apple necessarily wants to kill Android.

  7. Nothing but rhetoric by Samsung. Attempting to use the media to get Apple to quit sticking it to them. Apple certainly isn’t losing anything by suing them. They give the attorneys their 10 or 15 million dollar cut and they’re still 100+ million dollars richer than they were. While also sending the message that if you keep ripping off our technology we’ll keep chipping away at your profits a hundred million at a time until you either get the message or are rewarded for your lack of ability to innovate by going bankrupt.

  8. Andrew John - 9 years ago

    Perhaps this lawyer should have a look at how the company he represents, works. How it has stolen from almost every top 10 tech company for the last 30 years. How it blatantly steals licensed IP to gain a foothold, then faces law suits, then sues its opponents to draw out the process, in the mean time, gain market share long before any penalty or bans can be made. Ask Pioneer how that worked for them against Samescum. By the time their court case had found they had stolen Pioneer IP, they had gone under. Only a company with no ethics whatsoever does this. Say hello to Samsung.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.