Further Patent Madness to Ensue between Apple and Samsung; Patent Trials not Necessarily Detrimental to Market Performance?

7 Oct

The courtroom drama between Apple and Samsung, it appears, is not ready to come to an end anytime soon. Just days ago, various news reports stated that Samsung will be filing yet another infringement case against the Cupertino company, this time over the recently released iPhone 5. The infringement suit will reportedly involve two standard patents and six feature patents, and is scheduled to be looked over by the court during 2014, according to SFgate.

With Apple and Samsung set to engage in yet another series of potential legal battles, it is not hard to imagine a scenario where the two are gradually worn down from all the time, financial costs, and resources incurred. Surprisingly, in the area of market performance, a recent finding from Localytics suggests that the impact received from the trials might not necessarily be negative, taking into account factors such as the timing of the legal suits and the stature of the parties involved.

More than a month ago, as Samsung was ruled to have infringed on Apple’s patents and had been ordered to pay up to 1.05 billion in damages, it seemed certain that the loss, along with the impending iPhone 5 launch, would take a negative toll on the Korean company’s revenues. Turns out, neither factors appeared to have deterred consumers from buying Samsung’s mobile products, in particular the Galaxy S3 phone that Apple was wholeheartedly trying to ban. According to a recent set of statistics compiled by Localytics, the growth of the Galaxy S3 during the week of the unfavorable verdict was 16%, approximately 9% higher than the growth from the previous week. During the time the iPhone 5 was announced, likewise, the Galaxy handset experienced a similar surge, with sales increasing by a total of 15%.

Using the market and consumer perspective, a number of theories can be used to explain the somewhat unexpected set of figures. Localytics, for one, suggested that patent trial rulings do not necessarily bind nor determine consumer decisions, indicating how buyers nowadays are more capable of exercising proper judgment over mobile products. On the other hand, It has also been said that the borderline sensational drama between the two companies have helped increased the exposure to Apple and Samsung products. Such attention had arguably helped evoked a lot of curiosity and interest, the two elements necessary for a successful marketing campaign.

That Samsung was apparently able to benefit from the unfavorable ruling, in essence, has led some news sources like WebProNews to jokingly suggest how the Korean company should engage in more trials and “lose” more often. Of course, patent trials are hardly meant as a guarantee to success. The smartphone lines from Motorlla, which recently withdrew its patent case against Apple, do not appear to be enjoying the same level of success as the Galaxy handsets.

Although 2014 is still some time away, many will undoubtedly be curious about the effect the new set of trials will have on Samsung’s mobile market performance. Seeing how well Samsung’s Android products are doing now, it is not unreasonable to anticipate for history to repeat itself.

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