Apple, Samsung try again to settle patent disputes, but aren't close to a deal

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The ongoing patent struggle between Apple and Samsung recently came close to an end according to a new report that also says the two firms are once again working together to close the book on their worldwide legal struggle.



The two firms together account for virtually all of the profit in the smartphone sector, and they have been locked in legal combat since Apple filed suit in 2011. A new report from The Wall Street Journal on Friday revealed the tech giants are continuing talks to resolve the patent issues, and that they were close to a cross-licensing deal within the past few months.

The report, based on recently released but heavily redacted documents from the U.S. International Trade Commission, holds that Samsung has been pushing for a broad patent cross-licensing deal that would resolve all outstanding litigation between the firms. Apple's interest in such a deal is uncertain.

Shortly after a jury handed Apple a $1.05 billion victory against Samsung, Apple and Samsung's talks ramped up. Apple has had a standing offer of a license for its patents at $30 per handset and $40 per tablet, with the possibility of discounts if Samsung agreed to cross-license its patents to Apple.

In December, according to the documents, the two companies were engaged in face-to-face meetings in Seoul, South Korea, with the goal of resolving the legal disputes. Those meetings, according to reports, brought the two close to an actual agreement on a settlement, but they are said to have cooled off by February. The two parties drafted a "memorandum of understanding" on February 7, laying out a potential settlement. That memorandum was brought to senior leadership at Samsung and Apple, but there is no indication within the ITC document as to those executives' take on the proposal.

The revelation of ongoing talks is not surprising, as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said last year that he would "highly prefer" to settle patent litigation instead of fighting such issues out in the courts.Most of the settlement propositions have been redacted from the ITC document, but Apple has continually argued that Samsung's offers weren't specific, fair, or reasonable.

The ITC has countered Apple's complaints, though, saying that the fact "that representatives for both parties were able to reach a memorandum of understanding indicates Samsung is negotiating in good faith and, to be colloquial, is playing in the same ballpark as Apple."

The revelation of ongoing talks is not surprising, as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said last year that he would "highly prefer" to settle patent litigation instead of fighting such issues out in the courts.

"I've always hated litigation, and I continue to hate it," Cook said. "If we could get to some kind of arrangement where we could be assured [against future patent infringement], I highly prefer to settle versus battle."

Continuing, Cook assured that his statements should not be taken as an indication that Apple was preparing to stand down in its numerous legal struggles. Cook held fast to the notion that other companies need to be responsible for creating their own intellectual property.

"The key thing is that Apple not become the developer for the world," the Apple chief said, "we need people to invent their own stuff."

More recently, Samsung CEO J.K. Shin seemed less optimistic about the possibility of a settlement between the two rivals.

"Patent disputes against Apple will continue," Shin said in June shortly after the handed Samsung a win in the form of an import ban on older iPhones and iPads.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    If they could settle with Samsung on $30 per handset, $40 per tablet AND immediately pay the outstanding $1+ billion judgment to Apple, it might be worth it. Let Samsung try to make a profit at those combined costs...and if they can't, Android dies an ignoble death.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    Apple and Google are also said to be in lots of talks. Not sure what will come of that either.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    If they could settle with Samsung on $30 per handset, $40 per tablet AND immediately pay the outstanding $1+ billion judgment to Apple, it might be worth it. Let Samsung try to make a profit at those combined costs...and if they can't, Android dies an ignoble death.


    Android disappearing would not be good. If the marketplace became iOS dominated then Apple's products would become stagnant a la Internet Explorer for awhile. Competition is good for the marketplace. Quite a bit of the new features for iOS 7 were borrowed from Android and Google. For starters, Google Chrome popularized the unified search bar that is standard in web browsers today and iOS 7 finally introduces that to mobile Safari.


     


    Or how about "Press the Home button twice to see preview screens of the apps you have open. To quit an app, just swipe it up and out of preview." feature? Android has long supported that identical functionality.


     


    Apple seemingly pays attention to their competition and borrows features that they feel are a good fit for their OS, occasionally improving upon them.


     


    Even if Samsung were to go bankrupt, the brand and product names are strong enough where they will survive in some capacity. Think Twinkies.

  • Reply 4 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    negafox wrote: »
    Competition is good for the marketplace. Quite a bit of the new features for iOS 7 were borrowed from Android and Google. For starters, Google Chrome popularized the unified search bar that is standard in web browsers today and iOS 7 finally introduces that to mobile Safari.

    Or how about "Press the Home button twice to see preview screens of the apps you have open. To quit an app, just swipe it up and out of preview." feature? Android has long supported that identical functionality.

    Apple seemingly pays attention to their competition and borrows features that they feel are a good fit for their OS, occasionally improving upon them.

    Even if Samsung were to go bankrupt, the brand name is strong enough where they will survive in some capacity. Think Twinkies.

    If Apple "copies" protected features or rips off someone else's intellectual property, then they should pay for it. Do you have any proof there are patents that apply to those things you referenced?
  • Reply 5 of 23
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    More recently, Samsung CEO J.K. Shin seemed less optimistic about the possibility of a settlement between the two rivals.

    "Patent disputes against Apple will continue," Shin <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/06/13/samsung-ceo-says-galaxy-s4-sales-are-fine-doesnt-foresee-patent-truce-with-apple">said in June</a> shortly after the <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/06/04/itc-bans-us-import-of-older-apple-iphones-ipads-after-samsung-win">handed Samsung a win</a> in the form of an import ban on older iPhones and iPads.
    So rather than simply saying, "we'd like to get this settled. Out of court if possible", he says "Patent disputes against Apple will continue" (because we have no interest in settling).
    What a douche.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Come on Scamscum, pay up. I'm surprised, but not surprised on some levels, why Scamscum is allowed to compete with their various component customers in the same markets. That's an unfair business advantage, conflict of interest and just really SLEAZY business practices in my book.

    I'm glad I don't work for that organization. I wouldn't want to pick up any bad business habits.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    If Apple "copies" protected features or rips off someone else's intellectual property, then they should pay to it. Do you have any proof there are patents that apply to those things you referenced?


    I was never discussing patents. Merely that if Android disappeared that would be bad for iOS since Apple seemingly borrows features from their competition; the vice-versa is true as well. This is commonplace in a healthy competitive environment.


     


    In the case of the unified address bar, it is the following patent:


    http://www.google.com/patents/US20090006389

  • Reply 8 of 23
    bondm16bondm16 Posts: 141member
    I see a picture like this a lot. iPhone showing its home screen and the Samsung device set to the App Drawer and not the home screen, as if it was, the two wouldn't look as much alike. But you can still clear see where Samsung borrowed (and i use that very loosely) some of its layout ideas from.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    negafox wrote: »
    I was never discussing patents. Merely that if Android disappeared that would be bad for iOS since Apple seemingly borrows features from their competition; the vice-versa is true as well. This is commonplace in a healthy competitive environment.

    In the case of the unified address bar, it is the following patent:
    http://www.google.com/patents/US20090006389

    I was talking about patents because if there is no IP protection on an implementation, then it doesn't matter where it came from.

    Also, we have no proof either way if Apple has a licensing agreement for that search bar patent, or if their implementation is sufficiently different.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member
    I was talking about patents because if there is no IP protection on an implementation, then it doesn't matter where it came from.

    Also, we have no proof either way if Apple has a licensing agreement for that search bar patent, or if their implementation is sufficiently different.
    Not every patent holder runs to the courthouse when someone might be borrowing without permission.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,634member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Not every patent holder runs to the courthouse when someone might be borrowing without permission.

    That's true because they usually settle.

    Sammy isn't going to make the first move. It'll just copy Apple's next move anyway.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    It will get interesting when Googles Motorola crosses the line and causes Apple to train their legal guns squarely on Google. Perhaps after the Moto X announcement, soon.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Not every patent holder runs to the courthouse when someone might be borrowing without permission.

    That's not how it works. If you are a patent holder and fail to assert your patent rights, it will ultimately weaken your claim to your patent.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member
    That's not how it works. If you are a patent holder and fail to assert your patent rights, it will ultimately weaken your claim to your patent.

    Wrong. It has zero effect.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    That's not how it works. If you are a patent holder and fail to assert your patent rights, it will ultimately weaken your claim to your patent.


     


    You're thinking of trademarks.  They have to be defended.


     


    Patent claims do not weaken just by not asserting them.


     


    What DOES lessen, if you delay filing a patent infringement claim, is the amount that can be recovered for PAST infringements (the legal limit is anything over six years prior to filing a complaint).

  • Reply 16 of 23

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bondm16 View Post



    I see a picture like this a lot. iPhone showing its home screen and the Samsung device set to the App Drawer and not the home screen, as if it was, the two wouldn't look as much alike. But you can still clear see where Samsung borrowed (and i use that very loosely) some of its layout ideas from.


     


    Guess you don't remember Samsung's own advertisements for the Galaxy where they showed it with the App Drawer open.

  • Reply 17 of 23
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    That's not how it works. If you are a patent holder and fail to assert your patent rights, it will ultimately weaken your claim to your patent.


    That is for trademarks.

  • Reply 18 of 23
    bondm16bondm16 Posts: 141member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post


     


    Guess you don't remember Samsung's own advertisements for the Galaxy where they showed it with the App Drawer open.



     


    I hear about this but never seen anything to back it up. I did find this TV advert which shows the App Drawer right at the end.


     


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zrCFx2JvkU

  • Reply 19 of 23


    I bet one of the sticking points for Apple isn't the $$$, but rather the disclosure.


     


    Lots of deals get made where no details are released. This implies that both parties are equal. But in this case, I'm sure Apple is expecting Samsung to pony up - it'll largely be a one-sided deal where Samsung gives up more than Apple does. And I bet Apple wants everyone to know this, that Apple "won" and Samsung "admitted" to copying and paid up.


     


    A settlement without disclosing terms doesn't do Apple much good. Apple has lots of money - a few billion more won't be much. But being able to publish parts of the agreement that would show Samsung caved in and settled would be a huge PR win for Apple and likely worth as much (or more) than a simple monetary settlement.

  • Reply 20 of 23
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    negafox wrote: »
    Android disappearing would not be good. If the marketplace became iOS dominated then Apple's products would become stagnant a la Internet Explorer for awhile.

    No, they wouldn't. The iPod proves this. Apple isn't Microsoft. Apple has principles.

    Why people pretend not to be able to see that after multiple decades is beyond me.
    For starters, Google Chrome popularized...

    And Apple is the reason Chrome exists at all.
    Or how about "Press the Home button twice to see preview screens of the apps you have open.

    Apple did that first, of course.
    Even if Samsung were to go bankrupt, the brand and product names are strong enough where they will survive in some capacity. Think Twinkies.

    Ew.

    ...

    How fitting!
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