Judge to Mobile Company: No Soup For You!
Jason is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
A Northern California District Judge has recently denied Samsung's request to lift the ban on the sale, shipment, offering (bartering, haggling) and appearance of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 on store shelves (upholding a prior request by Apple).
That gives Cupertino a total of six hits, in its legal battle against “business partner-gone-rival” Samsung.
(As of this moment anyway…)
The Cupertino, California based Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently won a court case of patent infringement against Samsung who has been one of its biggest suppliers of component parts for the iPhone.
Recently, Samsung (who constructs and sells electronic gizmos of its own) has been producing gizmos that look and play a lot like Apple’s gizmos. As a company with access to key Apple designs you can see how it was not hard for Apple to point the finger and say “mine!” and that’s exactly what it did.
A California court ruled in favor of Apple, on five counts of iPhone patent infringement, but did not find Samsung guilty of infringing upon Apple’s iPad rights with regards to the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
That’s where the “No Sale” request kicks in.
Even though Apple was not able to get a full out K.O. in court, it for the moment has landed an uppercut to Samsungs current bottom line, via the court's decision to deny (without prejudice) Samsung’s call to dissolve Apple’s “No Soup For You!” Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban.
Samsung Fires Back
Samsung has gone on the offensive to Apple’s complaints since the verdict, cleverly using the surge of press from the recent trial in its marketing campaigns. I have read statements like “Even Apple says it’s indistinguishable” or “It’s the biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since the iPhone.” in newspaper ads.
But will this marketing approach backfire? No one really likes as "Copy-Cat" (let alone a proud, self-admitted one). Consumers could become callused to Samsung’s boldness in its use of “the highest form of flattery” (imitation) and become disenchanted with the tech company.
If that does becomes the case, and Samsung somehow gets "shunned" by consumers, I suspect that would repel more imitators from patent infringement than any number of court battles.
With another landmark decision under its belt, many could surely argue that Apple’s iPad sales will rise, helping it launch well pass the $700-mark so many of its investors crave. However, its victory could be fueling the success of others in Samsung’s “less expensive alternative to the iPad” niche market.
What's Up Nexus
Seemingly leading the way in the aforementioned niche market is the Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus. At a $199 it offers consumers a reasonable alternative to the iPad. The Nexus’ features include a camera, accelerometer and GPS Navigation (in its ad there is even mention of its standard inclusion of YouTube, which might come as a shock to some of my readers:). Scanning the internet you will hear a variety of comments that suggest that the Nexus has negated the need for an iPad while others suggest it has only heightened its supremacy as tablet royalty.
Foolish Bottom Line:
The question that will drive share prices this fall is simply this: should consumers buy a “Good Enough” copy or the famed original? Let's stay tuned to the sales reports to find out...
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