Time for Samsung to bite back

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Time for Samsung to bite back

A district court in Germany has handed Apple Inc. an important victory in its suit against Samsung Electronics Co., barring the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer from being sold in the European Union.

The order temporarily bans Samsung from selling the Galaxy tablet in all countries except the Netherlands for one month. The Dusseldorf court that granted the injunction filed by Apple is known for its favorable stance toward patent-holders.

The order is not an outright loss for Samsung as it is only a temporary ban until the court has time to fully review the case. Another Dutch court is also examining Apple’s patent infringement suit, which claims that Samsung phones and tablets have copied design elements from the iPhone and iPad.

If Apple loses, it will have to compensate Samsung for its estimated loss in sales. The two tech giants are now engaged in court battles in eight countries on over 20 patent cases.

Apple initiated the attack against the Samsung appliances, which use Android. Apple accuses Samsung Electronics of stealing its design and packaging ideas, while Samsung, which supplies memory chips to Apple, is defending its patents on wireless technology such as data transmission and battery efficiency.

The spat could either end in the largest-ever royalty pay out or a cross-licensing compromise.

Apple recently received a setback when it lost an infringement case filed by Nokia over wireless technology. But Samsung Electronics cannot let its guard down as the U.S. and European courts tend to appreciate patents in design and business models.

Patent lawsuits and trade friction tend to arise when global demand dwindles due to a poor economy. Many Korean companies are now competing as front-runners in the global market in different industries, and they will likely have to face fierce challenges from rivals in the future. But they won’t maintain their position if they continue with timid business tactics. The results of other patent cases have shown that aggressions is a suitable tool when used in self-defense.

A company will be better fortified if it appears as a formidable contender that can bite back equally as hard. In matching fire with fire, a company must create a strong patent wall. Samsung should counterattack in other technological areas to highlight the weakness of Apple’s latest claim.

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