Apple, Samsung had talks to settle patent dispute – report

Apple, Samsung held patent dispute talks – report

22 JUL 2013
iPhone 5

Apple and Samsung have held a series of meetings over the last year about settling their patent dispute, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The two companies reportedly came close to a deal in February but failed to clinch it.

The report is based on a document from the US International Trade Commission (ITC) which became public earlier this month. The ITC document refers to the negotiations, albeit in a “heavily redacted” form. The report is also based on conversations with people familiar with the documents.

While talks have continued, no settlement seems imminent.

Samsung is looking for a broad cross-licensing deal on patents that would settle all the legal issues between the companies but it is unclear whether Apple is interested in such a wide-ranging deal.

Last summer, a court ruled in favour of Apple and said that Samsung must pay $1.05 billion in compensation to the iPhone maker. The judge in the case has since reduced the damages as the case heads for appeal.

Details about the two companies’ negotiations are contained in a recently published ITC document, explaining a 4 June ruling the commission made. That ruling was a victory for Samsung. It banned the import of older versions of some Apple devices to the US.

The ITC document says Apple made a settlement offer to Samsung in September last year.

However, talks appear most serious between December 2012 and March 2013. A face-to-face meeting took place in mid-January. The two companies then agreed to meet in February and succeeded in drafting an MoU with the terms of a possible settlement. The MoU was put in front of senior management at the two companies.

The terms are redacted in the ITC document but there seems no indication that senior managers at either company signed up to the MoU. Talks continued into March with no sign of a deal being struck.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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