Intellectual Property: Apple's Patent War Versus Samsung

6 pages
1376 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Case study
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The introduction of Apple's iPhones and iPads sent a strong signal to the Samsung Company. Apple and Samsung companies have been in a raw for sometimes, and it does not seem to end soon. In April 2011, Apple accused Samsung of infringement and sued the company for violation of their patent right. In the case filed by Apple, Samsung Galaxy S and Lexus had borrowed most of the Apple's features without their consent or consultation. Apple accused Samsung Company of not being creative enough to come up with new products instead copy pasted Apple products. As Samsung Company continued to release more products, Apple on the other hand continued to file more cases against it. For example, when Samsung released Galaxy Nexus, Apple accused it of copying Apple's patents such as; the information retrieval called Universal interface, gesture unlock of the device among other features. In providing a solution to this problem, the court found that Apple had tabled enough evidence to show that most of its patents had been copied by Samsung gadgets. In a bid to gain total control of its features, Apple went ahead to block the sale of Galaxy Nexus, Samsung S and 4G. A decision which Samsung Company, however, went to court and challenged its jurisdiction.

Notably, in business, market and non-market stakeholders affect the business in various ways. Market stakeholders take into consideration the strategies that a company puts in place to help in price determination and boost sales. Market stakeholders are directly involved in the businesses' activities. They are the financiers of the business, and they take part in the determination of the businesses' products prices and spreading the brand awareness. Non-market stakeholders, on the other hand, are considered as the outside players in the business, they include the social and political factors. Non-market stakeholders further include the people who are not directly involved in the business activities but have influence on the operations of the business. They include the government policies that regulate the business and the population. In this case, the population provided Apple and Samsung companies with the market. The decisions made by the two businesses, therefore, affect both market and non-market stakeholders either directly or indirectly. The government however is involved in the business to regulate their operations and to protect the market against exploitation. This is done through taxation, revenue collection and price controls.

As observed from the Apple and Samsung case, the patent war between Apple and Samsung businesses took ethical and legal dimensions which affect the businesses in different ways. The owner of Apple and Samsung spent most of their time arguing in courts while accusing each other of breaching contracts with an aim of getting justice. This war culminates to corruption because both companies made payments to secure their businesses though the payments seemed customary and not envisaged in law of the land. The patent infringement complaints by Apple claimed that royalties were not paid as was agreed; this implied that corruption carried the day. The solution to this war can be found in the following four legal processes. First is by identifying where the problem is for instance the patent similarities that seem to be causing unnecessary confusion. This should be addressed conclusively to protect future complaints. Secondly and most important is pursuing a legal action against any party that infringes the others rights and provide sufficient proof that they have been wronged. Apple, for example, took Samsung to court for the breach of the agreement. Thirdly is by exploiting different solution to the problem which may be application of diplomacy and reaching a consensus that is respected by all parties. This will help in brainstorming and putting facts on the table rather than court battle. Finally, having mentioned the possible remedy to Apple vs. Samsung case, its in the best interest of the two companies that they settle the case by prioritizing legal action. This turns out to be the best solution.

The following are ways through which Apple and Samsung companies' solutions are evaluated from the perspective of the business. The first way is by determining the intensity of the problem. When Apple accused Samsung Company of copying Apple electronic products, Apple had realized that there would be a decrease in the sales of their products and they were likely to face stiff competition from Samsung. This poses a big threat to Apple company and they couldnt let it go. It had to be salvaged before it reaches a point of no return. The second way for evaluating the solution from the business is by determining the cause of the problem. The war between Apple and Samsung was as a result of breaching the contract. Breaching a contract is a serious offense under intellectual property. Thirdly, is tabling facts as evidence to find a solution, and finally, it is better to review the contract. Apple and Samsung companies failed to revisit and review their contract especially on how to share dues and this also contributed to their legal battle. In fact this was the primary cause of the war.

In as much as Apple and Samsung staged legal battles, their solutions had various impacts on the society. Despite being in a raw, Apple and Samsung had economic influence in the society by offering employment opportunities. The wages paid to the companies' employees contributes to economic growth of the society. Another critical area where most business is concerned with is the protection of the society's surrounding. Through environmental conservation, businesses become acceptable to the society. Businesses which are in a stiff competition like Apple-Samsung would, therefore, strive to conserve the environment to market them to the society. The competition amongst the two companies led to the growth and development of other amenities like schools and hospitals through sponsorship or fundraising ceremonies. Its important to point out that through the companies' involvement in developmental activities; they have contributed to the wellbeing of the society.

Ethics in business is key in ensuring smooth operations in the market. Ethical issues should therefore be given a lot of consideration. In business, it is better to agree on how the benefits are to be shared amongst stakeholders to avoid conflicts as this triggers ethical dilemma at the workplace. The best way a business can realize its full potential is by offering proper training its employees ethically. Through the training sessions, employees get to learn different ways of handling different situations at workplace. Training in solving ethical issues should, therefore, be offered to all the employees within the organization and it should be done uniformly without favor.

The companies' solutions are therefore acceptable. The main aim of any business is to be accepted by the market. The customer acceptance helps a business to stay profitable since the customers are the main sponsors of the business. Through ethical training sessions, the employees learn how to tackle different challenges that the company might face. The sessions also help the businesses to realize their strengths and weaknesses. When companies are in a constant war, its operational attention might be shifted from the main objectives to war. This means that time will be wasted in solving these issues rather than concentrating in promoting business and offering quality services. If the company has trained staffs and lawyers, that can represent them during such cases that faced Apple and Samsung, then these personnel focuses on achieving the primary objective as the court battles are on. This is because the customers are advised to choose the best companies that offer quality services and products. The only best way a customer chooses a good company is by looking at the company's scorecard to help in evaluating its success.

In conclusion, the companies' solution is therefore considered helpful to the business. It helps the businesses realize its full potential and to understand its customers. It also opens a fair competition ground for businesses. Most importantly, Apple and Samsung solutions help companies to manufacture products of high quality to its clients and shun copy pasting. This can be achieved by researches that the business carries out based on the demand by the market forces. Finally, review of contracts should be made by the intellectual parties to ensure that agreements are not violated by any party.


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