Apple – Samsung Trial


All the mobile manufacturers are not going to remain knotted-up in arbitrations and trials forever. They will eventually reach a settlement. This fact was known even before the verdict that came out last week. This was the precise reason for which Judge Koh had mocked the lawyers of both the firms for wasting the courts time, during the arbitration stage.

The only real change that comes about due to the verdict is the negotiating power. The reason the CEOs of Apple and Samsung could not reach an agreement earlier, when the court asked them to seek a solution outside of court, was because of neither knew where the negotiating power really lay.

If you look at it from the perspective of game theory, the two sides were not reaching a state of equilibrium due to the lack of clarity over the worst case outcome.

That has been cleared out by this verdict, for the purpose of both sides. If Samsung is facing up to trouble today, Apple knows what trouble could head its way another day.

I predict that settlements will come thick and fast over the next 3 years or so and a new system for sharing patents like the FRAND will emerge. Then they will eventually fight over that as well. But that is for later. This one was just about creating the negotiating platform.


Olympic Graveyards


I often wonder why countries/cities decide to host the olympics…

More importantly why do cities that are extremely well know decide to host the olympics?

The rationale happens to be that the hosting of the Olympics will provide economic stimulus and spur growth for the region where it is being hosted. Well, that may be true if one of two conditions are met:

1. The games are conducted in a city that is not very well known across the world. In such a scenario there is an intense focus created on the city, which did not exist earlier before the games.The names of Olympic cities are generally repeatedly talked about in press and news and get very well internalised in the minds of people all over the world. It can be expected that since the city was not known well earlier, like in the case of Beijing, the investment and new infrastructure will be used by tourism and the roll-on business generated in the future.

2. The other case where the Olympics can be held is if the city is using its existing infrastructure to host the games. In the case of an established city like London or Paris, an event is not going to generate any further mileage in terms of tourism. These are very well known cities and international tourists are not going to suddenly want to flood the city because an event was held. To the contrary generating new infrastructure adds a huge burden to the city and additional business that dont find use after the games. Athens is a shining example of what happens when a well known city splurges on an event that is not going to bring additional tourist flow in the future.

In my opinion London too will have an Olympic graveyard, now that the games are over.



I wonder how frenemies live?

I am an entrepreneur and I have several business relationships. With the people that I work with, I either get along or I do not get along. There has never ever been a case of getting along while not getting along. What baffles me is when I see companies like Apple and Google doing precisely that. On the one hand they go about filing cases against each other in every court available on planet earth, while on the other hand they tend to develop applications together, buy patents as a consortium and so on.

How does somebody be at war and peace at the same time? How do you not get to a position of resolving one issue while being able to forge partnerships on another? How do you decide? It just baffles me.

I would imagine before every decision, these companies would engage in several complex calculation using game theory in order to arrive at what to do!

Indian International Policy and Corruption


This was a thought that just entered my mind the other day. When India got independence there seemed to be a very strong alliance between India and USSR. If I were to think of the only one thing that India and USSR had similar amounts of, it was corruption. The communist government had converted the USSR into a terribly corrupt system where everything had to be bought by money because nothing was legally permitted. In India it was perhaps only the politicians who were corrupt. Today as India changes its International policies to better accommodate US in the grand scheme of things, I wonder if the Corruption Power Parity that was sky high once has evened out? Is US political system becoming as corrupt as India?