Apple, Samsung reportedly want to settle all patent disputes

In the wake of peace between Apple and Motorola, Apple and Samsung want to reach a truce, Korea Times says.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read


Apple and Samsung reportedly are giving truce talks another shot in an effort to settle their legal differences out of court.

The two combatants have recently "resumed working-level discussions" with the key topic being how to dismiss all lawsuits, the Korea Times said Monday, citing information from people directly involved with the matter.

Apple and Samsung emerged from yet another court battle earlier this month with a jury returning a mixed verdict. The eight-person jury found that Samsung violated three of Apple's five patents at issue and was ordered to pay $119.6 million, much less than the $2.2 billion sought by the iPhone maker. But Apple also was found to have infringed a Samsung patent and was ordered to pay $158,400, considerably lower than Samsung's $6.2 million request.

Ironically, the mixed verdict that found both companies guilty of patent infringement paved an easier road for the resumption of settlement talks, according to Korea Times' sources. But don't expect miracles right away.

"Some more time will be needed to fix terms of details such as royalty payments in return for using patents owned by each before reaching a full agreement," the Times added.

Last week, Apple and Google's Motorola finally declared peace in their own patent wars. Under a new agreement, the two companies have dismissed all patent-infringement claims against each other and have "agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform."

In January, Apple and Samsung tried to reach an out-of-court settlement over their latest patent squabble. But even a mediator was unable to bring the two sides together. Could a truce between the two be possible this time around?

Speaking with the Korea Times, intellectual property specialist Florian Mueller said he's optimistic that a settlement could soon be reached.

"Things should come to an end during the summer," Mueller said. "Apple doesn't have an endgame strategy. Its agreement with Google shows that its management is looking for a face-saving exit strategy from Steve Jobs' thermonuclear ambitions that were based on a totally unrealistic assessment of the strength of Apple's patent portfolio."

And just what might persuade Apple to settle with its archrival?

"I believe a one-time payment from Samsung to Apple for past infringement of US design patents would be reasonable," Mueller added.