Samsung claims branding, not stolen patents, bred success

Samsung has argued that strong branding and not patent manipulation were behind its march to the top echelon of the worldwide smartphone market in an ongoing patent trial brought by Apple.

Related: Patent war rages on as Apple and Samsung fail to negotiate

The South Korean firm called one of its chief marketing officers to the stand in order to argue its case that Samsung’s surge from number four in the market was as a result of the marketing plan it built up.

Todd Pendleton, Samsung US’s chief marketing officer, stated that soon after he joined the firm, in 2011, he wasn’t aware the firm made smartphones and that many others will have felt the same.

"I think people knew Samsung for televisions," Pendleton said, according to NDTV. "But in terms of smartphones, there was no recognition for what our product was or what it stood for."

Pendleton went on to say that even at this stage Samsung already had a better phone than Apple, the problem being that customers simply didn’t known about it.

As CMO in the US, he had to build a marketing plan from the bottom up and decided to develop a brand around the idea that Samsung would stand for “relentless innovation” in the way it shipped the best hardware before anyone else.

The fruits of this were the eventual marketing campaign entitled the Next Big Thing that targeted the iPhone and talked up Samsung’s devices as being top of the pile. For a short time after this the Galaxy S3’s sales surpassed those of the iPhone and Pendleton was asked if the firm had contrived to pass Apple’s in the sales charts.

"Our goals at Samsung are always to be number one at everything we do. To beat everyone,” Pendelton stated.

Pendleton was also questioned by Apple’s lawyers in relation to a message cited earlier in the trial that was written by Dale Sohn, the former Samsung executive in charge of its phone business, which stated: “Beating Apple is no longer merely an objective. It is our survival strategy. There will be a tsunami when iPhone 5 is coming.”

The US CMO did admit that there was a specific plan during the release of the iPhone 5 but added that this was done due to the fact that Samsung’s sales of phones dipped when an iPhone was released and it was looking to prevent this happening.

Related: Judge: Samsung ‘infringed’ Apple patent

Apple wants around $2 billion [£1.2 billion] in damages from Samsung as a result of patent violations that it claims allowed the latter to reach the position in which it currently sits. For its part, Samsung has stated that Apple has violated two of its patents and it is the second large-scale patent trial between the two firms and has been ugly from the get-go.