Apple Wins – Tim Cook Memo
Malcolm is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Today was an important day for Apple and for innovators everywhere.
Many of you have been closely following the trial against Samsung in San Jose for the past few weeks. 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. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy. [Emphasis added]
We owe a debt of gratitude to the jury who invested their time in listening to our story. We were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than we knew.
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.
I think this lends an interesting light on the situation. If we take Mr. Cook at his word, that he is sincere and that this is not simply spin, then it is an insight into both his thinking and the whole Apple culture. In particular is the portion I highlighted.
I have argued in a previous post that Apple has succeeded precisely because it focuses on quality and on providing a user experience that (in Mr. Cook’s words) delights the customer. Many people do not understand that when this effort is stolen by others, it is more than simply an economic issue – it is personal. As a person who works hard at my own craft (my fiction editor once commented that he sees I am “meticulous about my work”) I understand very well the attachment one has to one’s creations. That someone else will take off from ideas you have expressed is one thing. To have just copied is another. It is a personal affront.
Of course many will be cynical (there is a lot to be cynical about these days), and will put these words down as simply a disingenuous, manipulative piece of PR. They have a right to their opinion, but I, for one, believe he is sincere. I see how the copying by Samsung (Willful - as found by the jury) is a personal thing for all the engineers at Apple who worked hard to create something beautiful and delightful for their customers. I see how the result is a personal triumph for each of them.
Pic by "xpressions"
Friday, after just 22 hours of deliberation, jurors awarded a stunning $1.05 BILLION to Apple in its patent infringement case against Samsung, finding almost every point in Apple’s favor. Among them:
Apple proved through evidence that Samsung "took action that it knew or should have known would induce SEA or STA to infringe the D’677, D’087, D’305, and/or D’889 Patents." Apple also proved willful infringement in five cases, and dilution of trademark in others.
Additionally, Samsung is barred from asserting the '516 and '941 patents, those relating to technology used by certain Intel chips in iDevices, as they were exhausted. These are some of the FRAND related standards patents.
Fellow Fool Evan Niu gives an excellent summary of the judgment here.
Malcolm Manness has a Masters degree in Computer Science, and has worked for 14 years in development, technical publications and software quality assurance. He has been investing for 20 years. Currently, he does writing, and FileMaker Pro programming on contract.
His short fiction can be found (under pseudonym J. Seunnasepp) at http://50centflash.com/.
==== Understanding Apple series
You may love Apple and their products, or hate them to the core, but you cannot deny that Apple now has the highest market cap of any company, their products are trend setters, and currently they are trading at rather low multiples, especially regarding forward earnings.
Warren Buffet has the maxim: “Invest in what you know!” So, for those who want a unique perspective on Apple’s success, I have a series of articles Understanding Apple. I hope you will find them helpful and provocative.
Let me know what you think.
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