The Christian Science Monitor has an article today on innovation at Samsung in light of the decision in the Apple/Samsung patent case. The newspaper reports that there are increasing calls for Samsung to ditch its fast-follow strategy in lieu for in-house innovation:
Samsung should “stop fighting it,” says James Rooney, chairman and CEO of the Seoul advisory firm Market Force. “It’s time to stop copying others. Samsung would be far better advised not to fight it. To continue fighting it is to give themselves a bad name.”
Despite the massive repercussions that could arise from these rulings, I find this patent litigation tedious and rather boring. These cases always end up being extremely technical, and are usually better windows into the American legal system than any notion of innovation. For instance, there has been controversy that the jury moved too quickly to make a judgment and ignored significant evidence.
My personal prediction has been that Apple and Samsung will settle the case after the judgment, and that was echoed in the CSM article as well:
“They clearly have an enduring relationship,” says Morris. In the end, he believes, Samsung should pay to license Apple intellectual property. “Appeals will be difficult,” he says. “I doubt if they can overturn the outcome.”
This is a logical outcome, but it would be a shame if Samsung failed to take the message of these proceedings to heart. Internal innovation is ultimately more lucrative - the company can sell better products to more customers and build mindshare among consumers as a leading innovative company. To do that though, the company is going to have to adapt, and it so far has shown little willingness to do so.