Samsung and Google have enjoyed a productive partnership over the last few years with the rise and rise of the Android mobile platform. Last week Samsung was hit twice by successful Apple legal actions over design copying. First the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was banned from sale in the US, and then on Friday the Galaxy Nexus was prohibited from sale. The judge was the same in both cases; US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.
In a report in the Korea Times today Samsung confirmed, for the first time, that it is now getting help from Google to put up a better fight with Apple over patents. Samsung spokeswoman Lim Yoon-jeong said the two companies have been working closely to create a united front. Another undisclosed Samsung insider is quoted in the article and says “It’s too early to comment on our game plan (with Google) in the legal battle; but we will do our best to get more royalties from Apple, which has benefited from our technology. The fight is becoming more dramatic and the possibility of a truce in the form of a cross-licensing deal seems to be becoming likely.” That sounds like Samsung will continue with the counter-suing of Apple regarding its internet connectivity patents. Also Google recently got hold of a bundle of smartphone patents with the acquisition of Motorola Mobile which could be helpful.
The stakes are high; Apple has backed the two pre-trial injunctions above with bonds amounting to millions of dollars. If Samsung eventually wins the cases it will be compensated by the bond money. Meanwhile, as the legal process slowly proceeds, Samsung is losing out on sales and Apple is benefitting from less competition.
Estimated figures for Samsung’s losses due to the court injunctions have been put forward in the above mentioned Korea Times article. The sale ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will cost Samsung approximately $80 million per month and the Galaxy Nexus ban approximately $60 million per month. Meanwhile the Samsung Galaxy S3 continues to drive Samsung to record operating profits. It’s sold over 7 million units in two months since launch and doesn’t seem to be in Apple’s US legal sights, for now…