Americans sore losers: JoongAng Ilbo editorial writer

The JoongAng Ilbo’s Sunny Yang lectures Americans about innovation:

To build a country and defend one is not the same work. It is not entirely wrong to claim Americans discovered, invented and created almost every modern cutting-edge technology. They were great builders, but not such good defenders. If they had not been self-indulgent with their pioneering works and endeavored to stay on top of the market with innovations, the latecomers would not have dared to jump into the fray and attempted to outperform them.

But somewhere down the road, American cars and semiconductors became mediocre and failed to appeal to consumers. Turning the blame on competitors for their underperformance has not helped American industry before and won’t now.

One newspaper article questioned if Apple, having lost its drive for innovation, can merely appeal to American patriotism to survive. Without deep self-retrospection and a dedication to innovate, the strategy of relying on past supremacy cannot save the American economy.

To be fair to Yang, if there’s a group of people exceptionally qualified to recognize economic jingoism, it’s Korean journalists.

Still, given the nature of the case, you’d think it wasn’t the American company that lacked the ability to innovate, unless one defines innovation as “shamelessly ripping off your competitors.”

  • ZenKimchi

    I imagine these commentators talking into mirrors when writing these pieces.

  • ZenKimchi

    Speaking of sore losers–Thanks for reminding me. I need to give a few death threats to Olympic officials and athletes whom I felt wronged me in past games.

  • jefferyhodges

    “Without deep self-retrospection and a dedication to innovate, the strategy of relying on past supremacy cannot save the American economy.”

    Let’s see . . . if I rightly understand Ms. Yang, one needs both “deep self-retrospection” and “dedication to innovate” in order for a “strategy of relying on past supremacy” to succeed.

    Talk about coincidentia oppositorum!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • bulgasari

    You also might want to jump into the ring and attack referees who hamper your ability to win and hold sit-ins to protest ‘incorrect’ or ‘insincere’ decisions while you’re at it.

  • bulgasari

    Whoops – that last one was directed at zenkimchi… and the reference to sit-ins did not refer to the most recent Olympics (rather ’64 and ’88).

  • EnricoPallazo

    Pictures worth a thousand words:

  • Creo69

    “Reflect and Blame” “Reflect and Blame” …. I bet nobody saw this coming.

  • slim

    “To be fair to Yang, if there’s a group of people exceptionally qualified to recognize economic jingoism, it’s Korean journalists.”

    PRICELESS, Robert!

  • R. Elgin

    I smell a biased editor who is full of 김치 찌개.

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    yeah, there was no bias in that jury just a few miles away from apple hq. nope. americans don’t do nationalism, do they? funny how ‘slavishly copying’ ain’t ‘slavishly copying’ in japan or europe but it is here in the states with a jury right by darth apple. btw, do you folks know if apple has published that court ordered advertisement in britain where apple must announce that samsung isn’t a copy of apple?

    who says ‘slavishly copy’?

    well, a court right by apple hq. that’s who.

  • hacker

    Pawi – You just don’t stay current do you? That order was stayed until October when the appeals are done so “it taint over till the fat lady sings”. Also, two of the Galaxy Tabs are barred from sale in Germany.
    BTW – What’s this I hear that Samsung is missing their OLED technology? Possibly LG or some Chinese company wanting to compare their product or maybe just catch-up a bit.

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    yeah, tell that to the news, sir.

    ‘That order was stayed until October when the appeals are done’

    duh. tell that to the news. and wtf does what you wrote have anything to do with what i wrote? most courts outside the us have found in favor of samsung. don’t try to bullsh8t me.

  • PineForest

    America’s and Apple’s TOTAL lack of innovation is to blame! Absolutely! That cheap POS Apple has to stop riding on the coattails of great firms like Samsung.


    What a gargantuan pile of crap. I love it.

  • DLBarch

    Every once and a while, Korea’s conservative media reveal just how anti-American and, frankly, ssagaji, they are.

    The deep-seated but just-under-the-surface anti-Americanism of Korea’s conservative right wing is something that receives virtually no attention. It is there, though, for any and all to see who care to take a look.

    Samsux should get off its corrupt ass and innovate rather than stealing others’ ideas and then getting its own newspaper hacks to pen apologia in the form of anti-American diatribes when the owners of those ideas actually take offense.


  • hacker

    Well pawi, I don’t need to tell it to the news, it was in the news on the 27th of July when the high court ruled, that is after the 19th of July ruling that you refered to. Also, most courts outside of the US are not “all” courts outside of the US as in Germany. Both have everything to do with what you wrote since the Brit ruling was regarding the Galaxy Tab as was the German ruling against the Galaxy Tab. No bullsh8t, try using some good key words next time you google the news. If you don’t like the truth…well sorry about that.

    So tell me, should Samsung be able to take it to the courts if somebody “mimics” thier OLED tech or should they just roll over and suck it up?

  • cm

    Why would anyone steal the OLED TV, if they want to copy the looks of it? All they have to do is go to one of those trade shows and they can view them all their hearts content.

  • cm

    Heck, you don’t even have go anywhere to copy the feel and look. Just go to sites like this to see the pictures that you can use to copy the looks from.

  • hacker

    Well I guess to truly “mimic” the tech you would have to look at the insides.

  • hacker

    Oh and I guess I should add, it was Samsungs OLED Tech that was stolen not LG’s. In fact, I believe it was an LG employee who helped in the development of the Samsung tech when he worked there who was involved. He was suspected of receiving 190 mil W for the data and of selling it to the Chinese as well.

  • Q

    Check out the interviwe with Kal (law professor and IP specialist at UCLA) and Chris (research law professor at the University of Virginia):

  • WangKon936


    I would say it’s a little more complex then that. The Hani, for example actually is sympathetic with the verdict, but derides the U.S. on foreign policy. Something like the JoongAng would side with the U.S. on foreign policy, but be more economically nationalistic than something like the Hani.

    Opinions are diverse and complex.

  • WangKon936


    Somehow I feel as if the pictures don’t do OLED justice.

  • hacker

    WK – Me niether, if I was going to “mimic” something like OLED I would want access to the tech as I said before. Just seeing some pictures, that could be digital rendurings for all I know and not the real deal, just gives me an idea of what might be possible. I remember back in the 80’s nobody wanted a picture of the latest and greatest motherboard but wanted to get their hands on the real deal so they could reverse engineer it and then clone the thing, saves so much time and effort.

  • jk6411

    DLB @#14,

    The deep-seated but just-under-the-surface anti-Americanism of Korea’s conservative right wing is something that receives virtually no attention. It is there, though, for any and all to see who care to take a look.

    Would you care to provide some examples?

    I myself have been reading conservative Korean news for many years now, and they are very pro-American.
    I’m sure of this, because I also read leftist-leaning news time to time, just out of curiosity.

    (And a Joongang Ilbo editorial on the Apple-Samsung verdict doesn’t count.
    As you yourself said, Joongang is Samsung’s “own newspaper”.)

  • Q

    For some reason, TMH website does not permit Forbes link, that I’d like to introduce the interviwe with Kal (law professor and IP specialist at UCLA) and Chris (research law professor at the University of Virginia):

    First, topically: How do you see the Apple vs Samsung verdict in the overall context of imitation?

    What’s most interesting about the verdict is that Apple itself is a serial imitator—as many great innovators are. Steve Jobs famously visited the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 1979, where he saw a Xerox prototype that used a mouse and a graphical user interface. Jobs adapted the ideas he saw at Xerox in what eventually became the Macintosh. And the rest is history.

    In the current dispute, Samsung was surely imitating aspects of Apple’s designs. But so too was Apple imitating previous designs. The rectangular shape of the iPhone and iPad, for instance, strongly resemble the ur-reading device of paper. And there were many iterations between the invention of paper and the invention of the rectangular phone.

    So while Samsung probably deserves some of the sweeping verdict, what Samsung did is really normal practice in many fields, including electronics. And it is a good thing, because it yields more competition.

    On the Xerox issue I wasn’t sure the guys were wholly right so I put that back to them. Presumably Apple licensed Xeros’s technology?

    I’m not criticizing Apple’s behavior vis-a-vis Xerox. I’m pointing out that they copied—and Jobs’ called it “shameless stealing” himself—and now are going after the same behavior by others. On the issue of a license from Xerox for mice/GUI, to our knowledge none has ever been produced. If you can find it, we’d love to see it and of course would change our account.

    Got a view on these trade dress and design patents?

    Some of Apple’s design patents were reasonable, but some—in particular the ones relating to the shape of the iPhone and iPad—really shouldn’t exist because they are not just ornamental—they make the device work better. The jury at least didn’t find Samsung liable for infringement with regard to the shape of the iPad. But it would be even better to hold that the design patent itself is invalid.

    Trade dress is an important concept. One problem is that unlike design patents, which last 14 years, trade dress is indefinite. Another is that the trade dress elements Apple claimed, like the design patents, were not just about how the phones looked—they also made the phones more useful to consumers. It’s good that the jury gave only lukewarm support to Apple’s trade dress claims.

    Specifically on fashion, what’s your take on this? I think of these inspired geniuses like Galliano and an industry around them waiting for the jewels to drop. Can you compare that though to tech designs where, the claim is, many years of investment go into creating a feature?

    What fashion teaches us is that creativity and copying can not only coexist; copying can actually be good for creativity. Copying has both destructive and productive effects, and in fashion, because of the public, expressive nature of clothing, the productive effects of copying are very strong.

    Copying helps to set new trends, and trends are what sells fashion. And copying helps to kill existing trends, which drives demand for new trends. So copying is really central to the innovation process in fashion.

    What we show in The Knockoff Economy is that many creative industries are similar. Of course, industries vary and so a one-size-fits all IP solution is not going to work. For those creative fields with big up front costs—like pharmaceuticals or film—some protection is clearly necessary. The problem is that our current system treats all industries the same way.

    What’s you view of click and double click on the web – is that a design?

    The line between design and function is critical to patent law, and things like double click really blur that. In general, the law says that if the thing has a function, then it isnt appropriate to give a design patent. Clicks seem pretty functional to me.

  • cm


    WK’s post, opinions are diverse. Just like this one as well, from another Conservative media.

    Korea Needs to Foster Its Own Innovation

    A U.S. court has ruled in favor of Kevlar manufacturer DuPont and barred Kolon from selling a similar competing version of the bullet-proof fabric in the U.S. and other countries for the next 20 years.

    In November last year, the court ordered Kolon to pay DuPont US$920 million, accusing the Korean company of stealing trade secrets. The amount was more than 300 times greater than Kolon’s total exports of the aramid fiber to the U.S. over the last five years.

    In 2005, Kolon says, it succeeded in developing its own aramid fiber after 26 years of research. The fiber is used in a wide-range of applications, from bullet-proof vests to fiber-optic cables. But DuPont accuses the Korean company of hiring ex-DuPont staff and essentially stealing Kevlar.

    As in the recent Samsung-Apple trial in Northern California, questions were raised about the validity of latest verdict amid rumors that the judge in the case used to represent DuPont in previous trials against other Kevlar-like fabric manufacturers when he was an attorney.

    The latest flood of patent lawsuits by U.S. companies against their Korean rivals is also reminiscent of the legal battles they waged against Japanese businesses in the 1980s. The number of lawsuits filed by U.S. businesses against Korean companies surged over the last two or three years to reach 117 as of last year.

    Korean businesses urgently need to change the way they think about patented technologies. American businesses regard intellectual property, including patents and trade secrets, as one of the key areas that will lead their growth in the coming years. U.S. laws governing intellectual property have grown to cover a vast field, ranging from cheerleaders’ uniforms to restaurant menu designs and even a particular color used in a specific product.

    According to World Intellectual Property Organization statistics, Korea ranked fifth in the world in terms of international patents at 10,447 in 2011, after the U.S., Japan, Germany and China. But domestically it shows a lack of awareness of the value of innovation.

    Some 60 to 70 percent of patents that are filed domestically are nullified every year, which is the highest rate in the world, and in only 20 percent of patent infringement cases do courts rule in favor of patent-holders, which is the lowest in the world. Even if a patent holder here wins a case, he or she receives an average of only W50 million (US$=W1,134) in compensation, also the lowest in the world.

    Sony, one of the world’s leading electronics makers, started to go downhill when its development of core technologies lost steam. The government needs to take the initiative to promote research into novel technologies and offer support. Companies for their part should come up with strategies to keep up with today’s innovative competition, including handsome rewards for staff who develop new technologies. / Sep. 03, 2012 13:24 KST

  • Q


  • DLBarch

    Just last week, I cautioned against extrapolating contempt for Samsux’s business practices to a more general anti-Korea sentiment, as to two are, obviously, very different, and one does not, and should not, beget the other.

    Silly me. Notice how quickly Samsux and its media arm went from attacking the patent jury verdict, to attacking Apple broadly as anti-competitive, to bashing the United States as a sole-loser.

    And this from a company that represents 20 percent of the Korean economy and whose entire existence is inconceivable without historical access to American (and Japanese) technology and extraordinary generous current access to the American market.

    Ssagaji is the only word that comes close to describing this Samsux anti-Americanism. I look forward to the patriotic K-A community’s distancing itself from this odious company and its Third World management.

    As for the must better LG, let’s start referring to that company as “Korea’s respectable alternative to the anti-American Samsux.”


  • cm

    #22, hacker, Samsung copied the “look and feel” of the iPhone, not the technology that’s inside the iPhone.

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    anti apple aint anti american since apple employs very few americans. when you gonna stop pretending its just kas?

  • DLBarch


    You know I dig your comments here on MH, so I’m gonna take a minute to explain.

    There is nothing wrong with being anti-Apple. In fact, if MH ever wants to go there in a dedicated thread, I could list a whole lot of crap that Apple pulls that is itself pretty odious. But that is, as they say in law school, a separate issue.

    The issue here today is how quickly Samsux — through its media arm — went from losing a patent dispute to pulling out all the stops in bashing the United States.

    Samsux is digging its own grave, and the sooner American consumers realize that the company doesn’t think very much of their country, the better.

    And again, I look forward to the patriotic K-A community declaring in no uncertain terms where it stands on Samsux dissing the United States.


  • sojufan_5944

    excellent post, cm. Well stated..

  • hacker

    cm – Of course they would not have had to copy much of any of the hardware technology inside the as they provided much of that tech. But when you copy “look and feel” you are also mimicing software attibutes that comprise a part of the technology, very important if you are a programmer, not so much if you are an electrical engineer developing the tech inside.

  • WangKon936

    Hummm…. Samsung must have thought these bloggers were Korean:

    … and of course they are gonna blog about it. They are “bloggers” after all. That was bone headed.

  • WangKon936


    “And again, I look forward to the patriotic K-A community declaring in no uncertain terms where it stands on Samsux dissing the United States.”

    You are a strange man. This is a Korean-centric blog. Of course there will be Korean Americans who come to this blog. Some of them will be sympathetic to Samsung. Please deal with it without thinking there is some sort of gyopo conspiracy 5th column, thank you.

    Go to any tech blog like The Verge, Engadget, Venture Beat, TechCrunch, etc. and check out their comment sections. You are gonna see a lot of readers who are also sympathetic with Samsung’s point of view and/or anti-Apple. The difference is that they are not going to be Koreans or KA.

    Can we be adult about this?

  • DLBarch


    The issue this morning, for the THIRD time, is not the Apple-Samsux patent dispute. It is Samsux using its media arm to take this issue to the next — and unnecessary — level of dissing the United States.

    I don’t know how to be any clearer.

    So how about it, WK. Samsux’s JoongAng Ilbo has just dissed America and the American people. Does that in any way bother you?

    If so, say so. If not, why not?

    I can and plan to keep this up all day.


  • WangKon936


    It doesn’t bother me because it ain’t true. It’s also just the opinion of one daily. I also know that there are other Korean publications that criticize Samsung and it’s business model.

  • WangKon936

    its, not it’s.

  • jk6411

    DLB @#29,

    The issue here today is how quickly Samsux — through its media arm — went from losing a patent dispute to pulling out all the stops in bashing the United States.

    I think you’re making too much out of a single editorial in the English edition of Joongang.

    I just went through Joongang’s Korean news site, and I didn’t find a single article on the main page about the Apple vs Samsung case.
    I found one small opinion piece about Apple, but there was not a hint of anti-Americanism in it.
    It was just talking about how Apple’s best days are probably behind them and people should sell Apple stock.

    Maybe it’s you that’s pulling out all the stops to bash Samsung?

    (BTW, are you pissed b/c I dissed Obama in another thread?)

  • WangKon936


    Question. Did you run into some anti-American Korean students who traumatized you while you were in Korea? Hey, I don’t ask this to be mocking in any way, but you are quite sensitive to anti-Americanism in Korea. I like to believe that the more silent majority in Korea is pro-American and/or pro-Western. Maybe because you don’t know the language you didn’t get exposed to it that much?

    Ex-U.S. soldiers I’ve spoken to who’s primary exposure to Koreans have been through the ROK armed forces or KATUSAS tend to feel better about Korea’s pro-Americanism than English teachers and/or exchange students who get exposed to left leaning Korean students.

  • slim

    Before getting too excited about this, remember who signs Sunny’s pay check. It’s also worth remembering that big Korean dailies promote mostly by seniority, not quality. Remember that white-haired guy at the Joong Ang, Kim Yonghee (?), who used to trot out blatant Jewish conspiracy theories every time he discussed the Middle East? And that Fools Die douchenozzle at the Korea Times? And Lee Kyounghee of the Korea Herald making a hash of the 2002 schoolgirl episode?

  • WangKon936


    Here is a U.S. publication indicating that the JoongAng is criticizing Samsung:

    The fellas at Business Insider seem a lot more informed than you are…

  • DLBarch

    Well, after waiting until the end of the day (here in California, anyway) to give all of our usual Samsux apologists time to weigh in, I see no one has stepped up to call out the JoongAng for its anti-American rant. Surprise, surprise.

    What we do see above is a lot of rambling on about everything under the sun EXCEPT the Samsux, er, JoongAng op-ed that’s the subject of this thread. That this editorial doesn’t seen to bother the honorable members of MH’s K-A community is disappointing, but not surprising.

    I’m particularly not sure why WK can’t argue his side without descending — repeatedly — into the gutter of personal attacks. WK’s psycho-analysis is endearing but clumsy, since he and I have never met and I have no idea where he gets his misinformation. I did, however, particularly enjoy the quip that any criticism of Samsux must be do to being traumatized by anti-American Korean students, particularly since it was precisely these activist types whom I always enjoyed meeting and talking with the most.

    As for WK’s Korean language remark, I will put my Korean skills up against his any day of the week.

    Re: jk6411 @ 39,

    No, mi compadre, I do not hold anything you or anyone else on MH says about President Obama against them. I remain a confirmed Obamacon, but half my friends are voting for Romney, and we all get along just fine.

    Back to that JoongAng hit piece. We all know that if the NYTimes ran an editorial extrapolating the Apple-Samsux verdict into an indictment of all things Korean, the K-A clique on MH would go ape-shit crazy.

    I don’t know what you call one who is not equally outraged by this JoongAng Ilbo op-ed, but the word “patriot” does not immediately come to mind.


  • WangKon936


    Sometimes you are quite mystifying. Where are my personal attacks? I honestly don’t mean to attack you personally in any way.

    Regarding Korean language skills, okay it’s on. Seriously, if your Korean language skills are as good as you think they are, then you would have known that the Korean’s viewpoint of Samsung is a lot more complex then you indicated. You would have also known that the JoonAng’s editorials on Samsung were both supportive (Sunny’s editorial) and derisive (the one I had linked to above). But because you don’t know of the diversity of opinion regarding Samsung among Koreans, I have to question your language abilities. I’m sorry, I’m just calling it as it is. If you think that’s a personal attack then you are a very sensitive person.

    Regarding my personal opinion on Samsung, I have been alternatively derisive and begrudgingly admirative:

    My personal thoughts on Samsung are complex. I would like Korean companies like Samsung to be more “western” or more “American” but I don’t know if Korean companies are ready for that. Take LG. Perfect example. They had a westernization experiment take place in 2009-10. Made them slower as a company in general. They completely missed the smartphone gravy train and their net profits have suffered ever since.

    What I do find very offensive is that you seem to have taken the pro-Samsung leanings of a few Korean American commenters and just grouped us all together. I find that very offensive, intellectually lazy and disappointing on your part. Forgive me for thinking you were better than that.

  • jk6411

    DLB @#43,

    We all know that if the NYTimes ran an editorial extrapolating the Apple-Samsux verdict into an indictment of all things Korean, the K-A clique on MH would go ape-shit crazy.

    I don’t know what you call one who is not equally outraged by this JoongAng Ilbo op-ed, but the word “patriot” does not immediately come to mind.

    Well, with NYT it would be different.
    NYT is an English-language newspaper with a huge readership.

    Joongang Ilbo is a Korean-language newspaper.
    If I saw a blatantly anti-American opinion piece on Joongang Ilbo (which I seriously doubt I will ever see), I would definitely criticize it.

    For the record, if I see blatantly anti-American comments in Yahoo Korea, for instance, I always counter them and set them straight.
    I have done this on many occasions.

    The reason I’m not paying much attention to the op-ed piece in Joongang English newspaper is that I don’t take the paper all that seriously.
    I wouldn’t hold it up to the same journalistic standards as the NYT.
    (Seriously, how many people read the Joongang English edition everyday?)

    It would be the same as if “New York Times – Korean edition” had an anti-Korean op-ed piece. I just wouldn’t take it seriously.
    Because no one would read it anyway.

    BTW, Joongang English edition is only about 10 years old.
    I don’t really expect journalistic excellence from it.
    You shouldn’t either.

  • jk6411

    PS: It is my hope that as Joongang English edition grows and matures, that it’s quality of journalism will go up as well.

    But really, the title of the op-ed piece, “Americans are Sore Losers”, looked as if it had been written by a child.
    Honestly, I didn’t even bother to read the piece.

  • DLBarch

    jk6411 @ 44,

    I don’t. But Samsux and JoongAng chose to run this piece. They;re big boys, and knew what they were doing. Now they need to be held accountable.

    But thank you for keeping your comments to the issue at hand. I’ve been quite clear that I don’t conflate criticism of Samsux with criticism of Korea.

    Sad to say, too many here on this thread are too quick to intertwine the two. That’s intellectually dishonest and, no doubt, intentional.


  • CactusMcHarris

    I have to han it to you, Brother David, for keeping the flow of discourse civil and non-slanderous.

    I’ll put a brick through the next Apple product for all of you Samsung apologists – just wire me the bail money in advance.

  • jk6411


    To be completely honest, I’m not totally unbiased regarding Samsung.
    (My father used to work there for many years.)

    So, don’t take my views as representative of the K/A community in general.

    Regarding the Apple vs Samsung case, I won’t say that Samsung is innocent.
    But I do think the $1 billion penalty against them is excessive.

    Furthermore, I’m concerned that if Apple has its way, the only smartphone allowed to be sold in the US will be the iPhone.
    I DO NOT want that. And so do many other Americans.

  • jk6411

    Neither do many other Americans.

  • DLBarch


    I take your point, but please keep in mind that my statements on this thread deal strictly with the JoongAng op-ed, and not the Apple-Samsung patent verdict.

    What’s disappointing is that others (not you) have simply decided that they can’t win on the merits of the JoongAng piece, so they’re going for the jugular on other, unrelated issues.

    But I’ve been around MH for a while, and I can sense desperation a mile away. “If one can’t argue the merits, get personal.”


  • Sonagi

    Virtually everything published in the English dailies is either from an international news agency or a translation of something published earlier in Korean. Here’s the original Sunny Lee with a less snotty title but same content:

  • Sonagi

    Oops, that’s Sunny Yang.

  • WangKon936


    Sunny Lee is actually not a half bad journalist.


    I wrote you a response awhile ago, but it appears to be stuck in moderation.