Tom Coyner of Soft Landing Consulting, which provides services and resources for companies interested in doing business in Korea, posts some interesting links and analyses of the recent copyright infringement suit Apple brought against Samsung.

Some highlights:

Coyner’s Comment

“Long ago, trade economists noted the best guarantee a developing economy to start playing by international rules is when it starts creating its own intellectual property worth defending.

Korea is in many ways, has long ago passed that point.  And yet, in some ways, it has not yet reached that development milestone.  As I  have repeatedly pointed out, Korea has yet to develop a market-defining product.  It has produced hundreds of thousands of very good to excellent products, many of which have been significant improvements on the original designs created by others.

The Galaxy line of products is a good example of this.  Putting aside patent issues for the moment, it is not enough to produce high quality products that are often better in various ways than the originals.  Producing improved copycat models requires priorities that limit basic R&D.  While some R&D is put into improving the original product design, huge amount of resources must be devoted to setting up production lines capable of generating large volumes of high quality products in very, very short time frames.  This is Samsung Electronics primary global competitive advantage.  But the tradeoffs include being branded as a copycat and being forced to also compete on price, which means much smaller profit margins than the true innovating companies.”

Check out the blog entry here.

Check out Soft Landing Consulting here.

This is not to say there is anything wrong per se, at least for the short- to long-term, with this business mode.  But there are also some structural weaknesses, particularly given that Korea has to watch its backside with up and coming competitors, such as China today, and possibly Thailand and Indonesia tomorrow.  The Koreans need to find the means to move up the food chain in terms of basic R&D and market-creating innovation.  Otherwise, they may risk emulating their Japanese mentors yet one more time.

Turning to the below selection of articles, I have chosen a couple of articles that give a good summary of what happened in San Jose as well as a contrary court case that took place in Seoul coincidentally(??) a day before the US court decision.  But first I lead with a marketing analysis that interestingly enough appeared in today’s Samsung-owned newspaper, the Korea JoongAng Daily.

Related Article:

Korea Times: Samsung “Reeling in Shock” After Apple Verdict