Apple vs. Samsung: Settlement talks scheduled for May 21-22

Apple vs. Samsung: Settlement talks scheduled for May 21-22

Summary: Apple and Samsung will engage in settlement talks in mid-late May in San Francisco as the courts hope to see a resolution to their now year-long-and-counting patent dispute.


Settlement talks between the two smartphone super-giants, Samsung and Apple, will go ahead on May 21--22 in San Francisco, in the hope the two can resolve an ongoing patent dispute.

Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero will moderate the talks as an impartial third-party.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over a number of Apple vs. Samsung cases, ordered the two to engage in settlement talks earlier in April. Representatives from both companies, including Apple's Tim Cook and Samsung's Gee-Sung Choi, are expected to meet to discuss ending litigation.

Florian Mueller, author of FOSS Patents, broke the news, noting chief lawyers on each side will also be present. The talks and mediation process will be held in the strictest of confidence.

The two companies' acrimonious battle over patents reached its one-year anniversary this month totalling more than 50 lawsuits in 10 different countries, reports CNET's Charles Cooper.

Cook's recent statement sent a strong signal that Apple could be ready to end the patent war, started by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

During the company's first-quarter earnings call, Cook said: "I would highly prefer to settle than to battle. But it's important that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff."

Samsung will likely want to settle after it was hit the most in the courts' decisions. Though it has suffered through product bans and sales injunctions, the company continues to generate huge profits. During its fourth-quarter earnings, the company noted how its Galaxy products had become a "household name" thanks to Apple's attempts to block the smartphone and tablet line-up.

Apple launched its ground assault on Samsung in April 2011 when the company filed a patent infringement case against Samsung, claiming its tablets were in breach of its iPad design. The Korea-based smartphone giant fired back with its own set of complaints, saying that Apple infringed its hardware and networking patents.

Since then, both companies have seen their products banned from sale in various regions, though Apple was lucky to secure the overturning of a sales ban within hours of the court's decision. Samsung has had less luck, however, but reclaimed most of its lost sales in Australia in the run-up to Christmas after it secured the lifting of a ban against its tablet.


Topics: Enterprise Software, Apple, Legal, Samsung

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  • that's a good opportunity for apple to back down

    and drop the frivolous charges against android!
    The Linux Geek
    • The charges are obvious, not frivolous

      So unless Samsung will agree to stop abuse Apple's IP (like Galaxy Y, Galaxy Ace, et cetera), settlement talks will fail.

      But by far the most of Samsung's profits come from smartphone sales. And the most of those sales come from sales strategy "Look at what we have here: almost iPhone, but cheaper!".

      [b]If Samsung will cede this strategy, they will start failing as HTC fails now.[/b]
      • expereience to me says differently

        I have owned both an iPhone and a Galaxy S2 and still own an iPad. The S2, in my opinion, is better than the iphone in all but one area, battery life. But then I can carry easily two spare batteries on a long trip using the Galaxy.

        The price difference is fairly negligible and had little to do with selection from my perspective (they are both equally overpriced). It had to do with choice - Apple / i0S offered me basically on choice, an iphone with a single screen size and no flexible way to expand my phone, with say an SD card, other than buy a new one each time which is essentially the same as it's predecessor apart from a few upgrades and minor unimportant appearance difference.

        I am not anti-Apple or pro Sanmsung, HTC or anyone else but I am pro competition and the biggest possible variation in ranges and possibilities for consumers.

        The problem I have is that for many of the things Apple has managed to claim patents for (under the ridiculiously lax process in the US) are so wide and "almost common sense", that if they were applied, would give one company a monopoly of the smartphone market.

        I dont see how something, which Apple enthusiasts would surely describe as inferior, and which I describe as different, can abe called a copy. Apple says they dont want to be the inventor for the world, well if that is true dont keep producing innovative designs and dont try to first to market with everything.

        What their statement means is they do want to be the inventor for the world as long as the rest of the world pays them lots of cash.

        My Galaxy does not have either Apple or iphone stamped on it, the screen is a different size and gives better viewing quality. The case can be opened easily, the battery replaced, a micro SD installed, it is lighter than an iPhone and does not tie me to one company for my software. To my mind those things are enough to make it different (better in my view but that is just opinion). Sure it has things like on off switch, a home button and volume controls but I fail to see how any company should get a patent on things which are obvious and essential components.

        Each of these excellent companies have their own fan base and I would like to see all the manufacturers sharing their knowledge and experience to produce better and better phones, each one building on strengths from other devices. There is enough smart phone and table cash out there for every company to get their share with models ranging from 50 up to 1000 to suit every possible pocket. I hope this judge bashes their heads together and convinces them that they BOTH have a duty to invent for the good of the world (oh and all the others as well.
      • Common sense says otherwise

        @ cymru999

        Nobody ever argues whether Samsung makes good products or not. Nobody ever discussed whether their products are better than Apple's or not. Let the market decide that.

        However, fact is, Samsung have copied Apple's products, down to the packaging and commercials. We do not know, if Samsung wouldn't have done better if they did not copy Apple. If they have superior product, why not?

        But it is also fact, that everybody in the industry is pissed of my the copycats such as Google and Samsung for blatantly copying other's products, designs, software etc and.. worst of all -- doing so without any consequences so far.

        I am not very confident Apple is going to make this 'settlement' any easy for Samsung. My guess is Apple will present Samsung with a huge bill, in the form of "you pay this much money AND promise you never copy our designs, ever OR we go back to court until you get out of business".
    • What frivolous charges?

      • I will tell you what.....

        Claiming that you invented the rectangular shape of a certain size, or that touch control and photo galleries are their sole invention.

        In my view if you take someone elses design and make a number of changes to it, and dont claim it as their produce, then you are no more "copying" than are car or TV manufacturers. What is frivilous is applying for, and being granted such ridiculous patents, in the first place. I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that the US is largley culpable in this.
  • Why

    Does Florian Muller's name pop up constantly?

    It will be quite interesting to see the outcome of these settlement talks.
  • Just wish the courts were smarter

    I would love to see the lawyers and judges all go to jail for things related to Patents that have anything to do with the design of something.
    Courts and lawyers make far too much money off of things that should be considered common sense. If the technology is copied, i can see a patent war, but a stupid design.
    Give me a break!
  • reply

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  • thanks