December 30, 2013
Patent War May Come To An End If Samsung, Apple Talks Prove Fruitful
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The back-and-forth of patent disputes between Samsung and Apple has reached another stage. The two consumer electronics manufacturers have reportedly resumed negotiations over patent-infringement claims, according to a report from the Korea Times.
“As far as I know, the companies recently resumed working-level discussions toward the signing of a potential deal. They are in the process of narrowing differences over royalty payments,” said an official with the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
The current round of patent issues involves an international contingent. The FTC is working with anti-trust regulators in the United States and Europe to provide a unified decision on the regulatory end.
Both companies plan to submit a settlement proposal to federal judge Lucy H. Koh before January 8. Koh has presided over the patents case since April 2011, according to Korea Times. The proposals follow a number of meetings including 17-hour "marathon talks" that occurred between Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-sung and Apple CEO Tim Cook in San Francisco last year.
Several years of negotiations between Apple and Samsung have been difficult, however time may deliver a resolution. "Hammering out a workable cross-licensing deal won't be easy--it seldom is--but I believe both companies and their respecting customers and partners will be better served by seeking a flexible compromise than rigidly adhering to a navel-gazing worldview," tech industry analyst Charles King of Pund-IT told RedOrbit.
The patent war has waged for several years and has included several claims. Earlier this year a patent suit worth $290 million was settled in Apple's favor. Proceedings for the latest dispute commenced this past June, more than a year after the two tech giants had started duking it out.
"On the Apple/Samsung rumors my first reaction is, one can only hope," said King. "Arduously long and complex court cases tend to reflect badly on all parties, often making 'wins' appear pyrrhic victories, at best. Plus, the niggling details behind many of both companies' legal arguments suggested the litigation was more about hamstringing the opposition than preserving the value of intellectual property (IP)."
Talks between the two companies has resumed to a "working level," reports CNET.
"At this point, Apple and Samsung both believe the other company is being unfair in the dollar values they want to place on the overall settlement. Samsung is willing to enter into a 'cross-licensing' deal with Apple, where both companies can get the intellectual property they need for a set price, sources told the Korea Times. Apple is asking Samsung to pay a more than $30 fee for every device found to be in violation of its patents, according to the report," CNET's Don Reisinger reports.
According to a report in BGR, the patent talks went from a boil to a simmer in the past year. The calmer climate should allow the two companies to work toward a solution that is agreeable to both Apple and Samsung.
A new trial between Apple and Samsung is expected to begin in March. The trial could bring patent talks back to a boil.