Samsung’s Dirty Truth
- July 7, 2004: Jury advised of adverse interference when Samsung allowed emails to be automatically deleted even after it was told to retain relevant emails. After Samsung’s appeal, Judge William Martini found “Samsung’s actions go far beyond mere negligence, demonstrating knowing and intentional conduct.”
- October 17, 2005: The U.S. Department of Justice fined Samsung nearly $300M for memory price fixing within the U.S.
- Feb. 7, 2007: U.S. government fined Samsung for $90M for memory chip price fixing for violations in 2006.
- Jan.15, 2008: Samsung’s offices in Korea were raided after evidence showed that a slush fund was used to bribe government officials and other business leaders.
- July 16 2008, Samsung chairman, Lee Kun-He was found guilty in Seoul of financial wrongdoing and tax evasion. Despite prosecutor request of seven years in prison, sentence was reduced to three years followed by a pardon by the South Korean Government in 2009 to allow him to help with its successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. He is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and this ‘pardoned criminal’ returned as Samsung’s Chairman in March 2010.
- May 19, 2010: The EU Commission fined Samsung for being part of a cartel that shared confidential information and fixed memory chip prices (along with eight other firms).
- Nov. 1, 2011: The Korean Fair Trade Commission fined Samsung for being part of a cartel that fixed prices and reduced output for TFT-LCD screens between 2001 and 2006.
- March 15, 2012: The Korean Fair Trade Commission fined Samsung for a mobile phone price fixing scheme and consumer fraud whereby consumers would by paying more than what the discounted prices advertised.
- July 25, 2012: Magistrate Grewal informs the jury that they could take into account that “spoliation” of evidence occurred when Samsung destroyed evidence that could have been used in the Apple lawsuit; Samsung had a policy of automatically deleting emails that were two weeks old and should have suspended that policy between August 2010 (when Apple informed Samsung of patent infringement) and April 2011 (when Apple initiated the lawsuit).
- August 24, 2012 a jury returned a verdict finding Samsung had willfully infringed on Apple’s design and utility patents and had also diluted Apple’s trade dresses related to the iPhone. But Samsung continues to fight the ruling, and continues in their copying behavior.
- Dec 2012: EU issued a Statement of Objections (SO) against Samsung for abusing its Standard-Essential Patents in not providing FRAND rates. Samsung withdrew all SEP-based injunction requests against Apple in Europe days before the SO was issued, but to no avail.
- April. 2013, Samsung is accused of and admits hiring people in several countries to falsify reports of HTC phones “constantly crashing” and posting fake benchmark reviews.
- October 2013 Samsung in confirmed reports from independent and objective testing, found to be intentionally falsifying performance benchmarks of its flagship products: the Galaxy S4 and Note 3.
In technology wars, there is no US military wing to take out enemy targets that cross a line in the sand and Samsung knows that. They know that stealing early and stealing fast will always be the way to go because the legal penalties, if any, are a pittance in comparison to what they’re able to rake in financially through copying and or through stealing source code or other means. This behavior is simply organized crime Gangnam Style. Yet until they’re forced to pay a steep enough price for their criminal activities, we’ll politely write if off as “just business.” Well, some will justify it that way, especially those holding Samsung stock.
Another new incident came to light earlier today by way of FOSS Patents that even shocked the famed Florian Mueller who eats and sleeps covering patent cases. Mueller stated on his blog that “On Wednesday evening local time, Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, whose writing style is well-liked by various patent litigation watchers including me, entered an order that finally sheds light on this. The order came down after a hearing held yesterday on a request by Apple (and possibly also one by Nokia) for sanctions against Samsung (and/or its outside counsel) for violation of a protective order, i.e., for illegal disclosure of (in this case, extremely) confidential information. You could read more about this new development here. How can you not shake your head in utter disgust at what Samsung is willing to do in their patent war with Apple? It’s outrageous.