Why Apple Might be Better Off Losing Its Patent Lawsuit
Could it be in Apple’s self-interest to lose its bitter court battle with Samsung?
Yes, it could. That is the contrarian point made in a research note from Steve Milunovich, a veteran computer analyst who joined UBS as a managing director in may.
A courtroom victory against Samsung, in a suit that alleges the Korean company illegally copied Apple’s patent designs and user-experience software, might slow down Samsung and other smartphone rivals using Google’s Android operating system, mr. Milunovich writes in a report published Monday.
Competitors would be forced to write work-around software so that their phones have functions similar to Apple, but not too similar, so they do not infringe on Apple patents. That could hold products off the market for months, helping Apple for a while.
But the danger for Apple, according to mr. Milunovich, is that a legal victory could boomerang in the long run, forcing its competitors to think different, to borrow a phrase.
“it could hurt Apple,” he writes, “because the real threat is not a competitor beating Apple at its own game but instead changing the game.”
“The likelihood of Apple being leapfrogged or a rival creating a new category is greater if they have to think outside the box,” he adds, “If they just copy Apple, like Coke, Apple can claim to be ‘the real thing.’”
Perhaps, but Apple’s army of well-paid lawyers would surely object.