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Shorting Apple’s Dubious Victory

by Rick Ackerman

As last week ended, the Dow was in yet another undeserved rally, recouping fully half of the 300-point loss it suffered earlier in the week . And yet, with exuberance gushing back into the markets, we found ourselves irresistibly drawn to…put options. Hours earlier, we had missed buying some November out-of-the-money QQQ puts by two cents, and although this left us feeling slightly remorseful at the bell, we were cheered when it was reported after the close that Apple had been awarded $1.1 billion in its patent infringement suit against Samsung. To be sure, the news itself was bad for consumers, bad for Samsung in particular, and bad for the retail electronics business in general. As how could it not be? Apple’s victory has redefined patent infringement so broadly that, henceforth, any consumer electronics company with a new idea is now at least somewhat more likely to find itself blocked or intimidated by a competitor’s patents.

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