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Apple Wants To Take Some Samsung Phones Off U.S. Shelves: Sound Familiar? (AAPL, SSNLF)

Apple Wants To Take Some Samsung Phones Off U.S. Shelves: Sound Familiar? AAPL, SSNLF

The parallels are undeniable.

Friday, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will ask an appeals court to block sales of certain Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) phones after a California jury found that it violated some of Apple’s patents.

Later in the day, the International Trade Commission is expected to rule on whether it should ban imports of the affected Samsung models.

If it sounds like the same case as the last high-profile case involving the two technology giants, it basically is...except Apple is the plaintiff this time.

The jury said that selected Samsung phones violated certain Apple patents and awarded $1 billion to Apple. That equals about two weeks worth of iPhone sales and about one-seventh of Samsung’s second-quarter profit, according to Bloomberg. Needless to say, this battle isn’t about the money.

It’s not even about crippling Samsung. The Samsung phones involved in the verdict are phones that were antiquated long ago—much more so than the products banned for import by the ITC when Apple was on the losing side. Kim Young Chan, a Seoul-based analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp. said that these older Samsung models accounted for less than one percent of sales.

This seems more like a country-club-style bragging rights battle where a lot of money will be spent for very little reward other than being able to say, “I won.” Ray Van Dyke, technology-patent lawyer with the Van Dyke Firm said something similar. “Between Apple and Samsung, it’s about who’s going to be the top dog. You want to shut them down. This is the club. You can beat them into submission with a club and maintain your top dog status.”

READ:Obama Administration Surprises by Overturning Apple ITC Ruling

More important than the court ruling Friday is the ITC case—something that has the makings of an international incident if the right (or wrong, if you’re diplomat) chain of events plays out.

With this case being nearly identical to the Apple case, if the ITC uses the same criteria it used for Apple, it seems likely that the ITC will ban import of the infringing Samsung phones. Then it would go to the Obama Administration where the world will watch to see if international companies receive the same considerations as domestic companies like Apple.

If the ITC takes the advice of U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and considers the public good, the commission will likely not impose an import ban—something that the White House would like to see.

The Korean Ministry of Trade has already said that it’s watching the events of this case. Lee Sun Tae, an analyst at Seoul-based NH Investment & Securities, said, “Obama may issue the reprieve again for Samsung, and if not, it will only bring up even bigger international conflict,”

It’s probably safe to say that The White House doesn’t want to find itself in a war of words with another country over a few outdated smartphones.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.


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Posted-In: Apple Bloomberg Michael Froman Ray Van DykeNews Legal Global Tech Best of Benzinga

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