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What You Can Learn from the Apple Samsung Decision

By Andrew Lu on September 10, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

While you may not find yourself in the middle of a global patent infringement battle like the Apple Samsung case, there are things you can learn from Apple (and Samsung's) litigation strategy.

Let's say your company developed a new technology and spent considerable fees in properly filing and registering the patents. As the technology gained popularity, you quickly notice that others -- including much larger competitors -- have developed similar technology.

Fresh from the news of Apple enforcing its patents against Samsung, you may be eager to sue all your competitors too. However, unless you have the war chest of Apple, you may need to think twice before jumping into developing your litigation strategy, reports Forbes.

While Apple vindicating its patents against Samsung made headlines, you may not have heard the underlying story of how much the attorneys representing the two companies made. Most estimate that the law firms involved took in tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars.

So unless you're absolutely certain of victory, and the value of your patents is more than the cost of litigation, you may need to adopt an alternative litigation strategy than simply fighting out every case.

The reality for most companies is that they should consider backing down and turning the other cheek as legitimate litigation strategies. Given the costs of patent litigation, you could bankrupt your company should you pursue to fight out every patent claim in court -- even if you win every case.

That's not to say that you should let yourself get bullied and back down from every legal challenge. Instead, you just have to discriminate the good cases from the bad cases much more closely than Apple or Samsung.

The lesson from the Apple Samsung case for most companies should not be to have a litigation strategy to fight every case if you are in the right. Instead, given the enormous fees involved, the lesson should be to know when to pick the good fights -- even if that means turning down potential legal victories.

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