Are Google and Samsung the new evil queens of denial?
Well, that's what I was thinking when reading Google’s official response to the $1 billion Apple judgment. Essentially, the statement came across as either "we’re smart; the judge and jury are idiots" or "Apple sucks and we don’t."
Really, it probably isn't a good idea to make your feelings known about a lost trial until after the final judgment hearing.
Samsung’s comments are perhaps even better than Google's, as they seem to imply the corporation didn’t actually lose. Rather, people living in the US lost, because Samsung really innovates - they don’t copy, really, honestly, they didn’t do it. Attica!!!
When you lose a case, it is probably better to express your disappointment, plan an appeal and just leave it at that. Let’s examine the heads of Google and Samsung this week. We’d also analyze the bigwigs at Apple, but they are so busy partying we’d likely get a hangover.
This was Samsung’s trial, yet a fair amount of evidence related to claims that everybody copies - including Apple - never made it to past the judge. Then again, this is essentially a crook’s defense, which boils down to: "I was entitled, insert reason here" or "everyone does it, I was just unfortunate enough to be caught."
Neither of these defensive strategies is particularly successful, largely because these folks actually weren’t entitled (thus the criminal trial) and those on the the jury, along with the judge, typically aren’t part of the "everyone does it so why can't we?" conspiracy.
If there were any lingering doubts that Samsung copied Apple, they were quickly dispelled at the beginning of the trial when it attempted to prove that Apple copied Sony, which clearly had absolutely no relevance to the above-mentioned proceedings. Obviously, you aren’t allowed to steal from someone even if you believe they are stealing from someone else.
And, just because you think the victim "does something" doesn’t mean it is legal. Ask the folks in jail for recreational drugs, in their case pretty much everyone (including law enforcement officials) partakes, but the tired cliche has really never worked as a defense.
Google purportedly tries to follow a slogan of not doing evil. But consider this - they were in the search and ad business, Steve Jobs was mentoring the founders, and their CEO was on Cupertino's board and suddenly they declared war on Apple. Now I've often argued that Mountain View does far more evil things, but building or revamping a smartphone operating system and giving it away for free to Apple’s competitors is really not something you do to a close intimate partner.
Think about it this way. Let’s assume you have a partner and decide to provide his or her rivals with all the resources necessary need to outperform said partner, whether at sports, work or school. I'd be willing to bet that not only would your marriage or partnership end badly; but most of your in-laws, joint friends, and relatives would likely think you were insanely evil.
If you aren’t there yet think of this: Google did this to Apple generally - and Steve Jobs personally - while he was trying to recover from cancer. Stress and cancer are related and the stress of this betrayal was likely catastrophic. You could argue they also worked against Steve’s recovery. And you know, I really doubt there was really much else, at least not competitively, stressing him out at the time.
So yes, this is all pretty evil, and you can't help but wonder if a jury will see it this way when Apple finally goes after Google. Indeed, you may recall that before he died, Steve Jobs pledged the firm’s $50B war chest to kill Android, so it will likely make this Samsung case look like a walk in the park.
Wrapping Up: Queens of Denial
Both Samsung and Google are clearly in denial. Samsung comes from a region where copying is common but even there the company wasn’t found innocent. On Apple’s home turf they really didn’t have much of a chance. But Google is in denial becasue I really don’t think Mountain View grasps that what it did likely amounted to one of the most evil technology crimes of the century. Taking advantage of someone who was both helping you out and dying is just unspeakable. Then again, I can understand why neither company wants to think of itself this way.
In the end, Steve Jobs had the last laugh and I think both companies well deserved the outcome. Not because they copied, but because they were both partners of Apple’s, Google being the most intimate, and while going after the legendary pirate of Silicon Valley may seem like karma, going after him while he is helping you and while he was dying is just, well, evil. And that is why Samsung and Google are the evil queens of denial.