Apple v. Samsung ends not with a whimper but a warning

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From Apple and Samsung End Smartphone Patent Wars in Thursday’s New York Times:

With two of global industry’s biggest players fighting over one of history’s most successful products, the case was one of the most closely watched legal fights in modern business.

“And if I had to characterize it, it didn’t really accomplish anything,” said Brian J. Love, a Santa Clara University law professor who tracked the case. “Close to a decade of litigation, hundreds of millions of dollars spent on lawyers, and at the end of the day, no products went off the market.”

Apple won on paper, but it failed in its goal to gain a competitive advantage over Samsung and other phone makers in its series of lawsuits against them, said Mr. Love and Michael A. Carrier, a professor at Rutgers Law School who studies patent law.

After years of legal fees and countless hours of its executives’ time, Apple walked away with negligible profits on the cases, particularly in the context of its $267 billion cash pile. Apple still earns most of the smartphone industry’s profits…

My take: When a fortified city declined to submit to Mongol rule, Genghis Khan would lay siege and slaughter all the residents. He did it not so much for the spoils—although his men made off with all the gold, silver and silk they could carry—but to send a message to other cities up and down the Silk Road.