Apple vs. Samsung - the rise of court-protectionism

The court victory of Apple over Samsung is a very interesting moment in global corporate history. It marks the rise of something that can be called "a court protectionism". Seemingly Apple will have a great advantage of this decision. But only in USA. At the same time more and more importance in global business will have the markets outside USA. So if United Stated create such a precedent, what will stop other countries to do the same?

The patent case of iOS vs. Android is very complex and allows different interpretations. In one and the same case different decisions are possible. So if such court tools became a part of competitive battle, the business will become fragmented on national and regional areas.

South Korea missed the opportunity to hit back Apple as it issued its decision on the same casus earlier and not in favor of Samsung. Additionally South Korean market is much smaller than the US one so this would not be a equal compensation. But what will happen if for instance China decides that Apple is breaking someone else's patents? And kicks Apple out of its market. What will happen if EU, Brazil or Russia do the same? And why to limit this only to smart phones? Every other product can be hindered.

Generally it is not honest a national court to decide a dispute between a local and foreign company. Apple is the Top US company at the moment, it is the pride of America. Samsung is a foreign company that competes with Apple and takes part of its income. So for Americans it is clear what is the right choice. If generally such a court battle is to be fought, it must be at any type of international and independent court. Otherwise the road to court-protectionism is cleared. And the competitors of US are not fools to miss such an opportunity.

There are much tricks in protectionism. Countries constantly think and develop new ways of stopping the foreign competition. But the historical practice shows that generally protectionism is not a long term profit guaranteeing strategy. Protectionism always leads to counter-protectionism. The final results are losses for everyone. Generally it is proved that free trade guarantees more profits for more businesses.

August 26th 2012

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