After the return of the Galaxy Nexus to the Play Store, we have some more good news on the Samsung vs Apple patent battle: the Korean manufacturer’s request for an expedited appeal against the preliminary injunction granted against the Galaxy Nexus has been grated. As a result, they must submit their court brief by the 16th of July to the US Court of Appeals, after which Apple has 14 days to respond. Final comments will take place on the 6th of August.
However, that’s not the end of the story. Apple’s use of lawsuits to protect and increase their marketshare has already hit the wrong notes with most of the community, even those who use iOS devices. Yet, having first written to retailers informing them not to sell the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the Galaxy Nexus (despite the latter’s injunction having been removed for the time-being), they have gone on to defend themselves in a way that leaves a pretty bad taste. When Samsung complained about the letters, Apple’s stance was summed up by their following words:
“[the company's] letter shows nothing beyond the entirely predictable consequence of Samsung’s infringement — i.e., the infringing products must be taken off of the market. It is not a legally cognizable harm to halt downstream sales of stolen, pirated, counterfeit, or infringing products.”
While I believe that it is fair to remind retailers not to sell a product against which an injunction has been granted, Apple’s choice of words were eye-opening, in a bad way. To try to remove a competitor’s products from the market using minor software patents that should never have been granted is one thing. To group the competitor with pirates, thieves and counterfeiters is quite another.
The arrogance displayed by Apple in that statement is mind-boggling. There was absolutely no need to mention “stolen, pirated, counterfeit” to get their point across, which leaves us with the obvious conclusion that this was a calculated strategy on the part of their legal team.
Apple, I never thought I’d say this, but you’ve stooped to a whole new level.