Global Private International Law
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Global Private International Law

Adjudication without Frontiers

Edited by Horatia Muir Watt, Lucia Bíziková, Agatha Brandão de Oliveira and Diego P. Fernandez Arroyo

Providing a unique and clearly structured tool, this book presents an authoritative collection of carefully selected global case studies. Some of these are considered global due to their internationally relevant subject matter, whilst others demonstrate the blurring of traditional legal categories in an age of accelerated cross-border movement. The study of the selected cases in their political, cultural, social and economic contexts sheds light on the contemporary transformation of law through its encounter with conflicting forms of normativity and the multiplication of potential fora.
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Chapter 10: Emerging global giants: the legal infrastructure and structural causes of economic monopoly: Samsung

Darren Rosenblum, Calixto Salomão Filho and Vitor Henrique Pinto Ido

Abstract

Samsung controls a large part of the world market in electronics and related goods. In this respect, it provides a fascinating example of economy-wide specialisation in global value chains. The comments below look at the legal and institutional infrastructure that supports this situation of economic quasi-monopoly. One focuses on the power derived from intellectual property and looks at the anatomy of the recent high-profile smart phone dispute in the US Supreme Court. The other explores the makings of the corruption, bribery and political scandal that has dogged the footsteps of the chaebol electronics conglomerate as it takes off as a world player. It provides a perfect opportunity to compare the structural, political and cultural conditions in which similar phenomena affect emerging varieties and forms of monopolistic capitalism across the globe. In a high-profile patents case in US federal court, a jury found that various smartphones manufactured by Samsung infringed design patents owned by Apple Inc. These covered a ‘rectangular front face with rounded edges and a grid of colorful icons on a black screen’. Apple was awarded $399 million in damages – Samsung’s entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones. Under Section 289 of the Patent Act, a person who manufactures or sells ‘any article of manufacture to which [a patented] design or colorable imitation has been applied shall be liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit’ (35 U.S.C. §289).

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