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Monday, 11 February 2013 11:24

Tim Cook never wanted to sue Samsung

Written by Nick Farrell



It was all Jobs’ brilliant idea

Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook, never wanted to sue Apple’s partner Samsung, but has been forced into it by the legal thermo-nuclear war started by Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs thought that if he turned Apple into a patent troll he could get Samsung to back down and hand the smartphone market to Apple.

According to Reuters, Tim Cook, then-lieutenant and now chief executive of Apple, said it was a silly idea because it would stuff up Jobs’ Mob’s supply lines. Apple bought about $8 billion worth of parts from Samsung last year, the story says, even though it was locked in litigation. What Cook might have been worried about a replay of the Alabama’s Intergraph case against Intel in 1997. Intergraph claimed that Intel threatened to choke off a supply of chips and product information if Intergraph followed through with a plan to enforce its patents against computer makers. While Intel settled with the Federal Trade Commission by promising that it would no longer retaliate against companies that sued it Intergraph was toast and quit the hardware business in 2000.

In other words while Intergraph won an important legal point with the FTC settlement, but it paid the price for going to war with its key supplier. Cook was unhappy with Apple picking a fight with Samsung over design issues, when there was much more for Apple to lose. True Apple has other people it can contract out to, but the fear was that if Samsung was pushed too fact it might tell Apple to sod off.

Jobs and Cook complained to top Samsung executives when they were visiting Cupertino. Jobs assumed that Samsung would modify its designs because otherwise it would lose all Apple’s business. In 2011 Samsung released of the Galaxy Tab, which Jobs and others regarded as a clear rip-off of the iPad.

Jobs suspected that Samsung was counting on the supplier relationship to shield it from retribution and started the most ridiculous legal war in IT history. So far no one has really won, and no one has really lost, other that the lawyers. And Cook has been largely left holding the problem after Jobs transcended this mortal coil and had to answer for his policy to a higher court, made up largely of a heavenly jury made up of former Foxconn workers.

Nick Farrell

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