It wasn't for the money. Or to ban the sales of smartphones whose shelf life had expired.
FORTUNE — “Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. makes for powerful courtroom drama. Calling it drama, however, is faint praise. It’s entertaining and thrilling but the effects are shallow and they don’t last.”
So began Asymco‘s Horace Dediu in a post Tuesday that listed six reasons he has no faith in litigation as a solution to a tech company’s problems:
1) legal processes are glacial, and tend to take longer than the lives of the products being litigated
2) the law is ambiguous
3) the world is too big to enforce the results
4) the financial awards are arbitrary
5) the technicalities are bafflingly complex
6) it is so costly only companies with legal hit squads can afford it.
But in the end, Dediu comes around to what I believe is the real reason Apple AAPL sued Samsung (and Motorola and HTC): to send a signal.
Dediu believes there are better ways to send signals — through advertising, say, or the products themselves.
But Apple had a different kind of signal to send, one that couldn’t be delivered in an ad.
The real reason Apple sued Samsung, I believe, is the one The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple laid out in early August, before the trial began.
“Apple has a purpose for everything it does, including this lawsuit,” he wrote in a piece entitled Apple’s motivation for suing Samsung
Here’s how Dalrymple saw it:
That sounds about right to me.