Samsung has been fighting for years to stick it to Apple as much out of spite as anything else. Finally, though, Samsung has been victorious in court, and has stopped Apple from… selling the iPhone 4 and the 3G iPad 2 in the United States. And only the United States.
The “smackdown” came courtesy of the International Trade Commission. The ITC decided that Samsung had a point and that Apple really was violating Samsung’s patent. So Samsung won! It’s just that for all practical purposes, they might as well have stayed home, because the patent in question only applies to, as we mentioned, the old and busted versions of Apple products that have no impact on Apple’s bottom line at all.
For example, you can get the iPhone 4 from AT&T for the princely sum of ninety-nine cents. OK, technically it’s $450, but sign up for a two-year contract, and it’s a buck. Apple does still sell the iPad 2, but it seems likely that it’ll be packed off to the dump if not at next week’s WWDC then later in the year. True, these are still perfectly functional items, but you can get better products at similar prices from Apple, so… why bother even getting the ban?
The really nutty part of this story is that Apple, not content to let Samsung win a ban on any of its products, is actually appealing this. They’re trying to keep these items from being banned in the US instead of just stopping making them a bit earlier.
Here’s an idea the next time these two have a patent dispute; instead of spending millions of dollars on lawyers engaged in legal battles, just go out back, unzip, and see who can pee farther. Seriously, cut out the middleman; this is a peeing contest anyway, so you might as well save some money, guys, and just make it literal.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.