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They Just Don't Get Apple!

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- There is a certain spread in life between permanence and impermanence, but it is lost on too much of the business media when it comes to the latest turn in the legal tussle between Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Samsung.

The two companies are engaged in an ongoing fight over Samsung's Galaxy line of Smartphone--with an emphasis on the word ongoing. All across the world (probably even all across the universe) there are legal cases going on.

Apple accuses Samsung of stealing its ideas, a charge Samsung refutes. Considering the size of the market, the biggest trial in the fight is coming up next year in California...and that's still on the docket. In the meantime, Apple tried to get an injunction against Samsung, which would forbid the company from selling the Galaxy until the issue was settled. The courts rejected that injunction, which amounts to a temporary blow against Apple. But the larger issue has, of course, yet to be settled.

That distinction, however, was all but lost on business media outlets like Reuters. The headline: "Samsung up after Apple's bid to ban Galaxy rejected," gave no sense that Apple lost a battle, not the war. Same goes for the lead. In fact, there was only a cursory mention of the tentative, small-ball nature of this court decision to reject the injunction and that came a the end of the article.

Fortunately, to The Wall Street Journal (NWS), the central element of this story was not relegated to an afterthought. Instead, the Journal wove it into the headline: "Apple Takes a Blow In Fight With Samsung." And lead: "Apple's patent battle with Samsung isn't over yet." Again: Apple suffered a loss. But it was a loss of a battle, not the war--and the distinction, downplayed by too much of the business media, is essential.
At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fuchs appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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