Apple and Samsung may be getting tired of courtrooms and huge lawyer bills. Korea Times’ Kim Yoo-chul, lead reporter on Korea-based tech giant Samsung, writes Monday that the two mobile behemoths are holding normal talks again, with the intent of settling remaining patent disagreements out of court.
Citing unnamed sources “directly involved with the matter,” Kim writes: “Samsung has recently resumed working-level discussions with Apple and the key issue is how to dismiss all lawsuits.”
The situation has stepped down, from Defcon 1 to about Defcon 3, if you will. The cold war analogies are apt here. Steve Jobs once told biographer Walter Isaacson that he was willing to “go thermonuclear” to kill off the Android OS and Android phones — Samsung’s specialty. Jobs believed Google stole the Android OS from Apple.
The news today, coupled with the news last week that Apple and Google agreed to drop patent suits against each other, signal a far less war-like posture at Apple.
Apple’s most recent results in court were disappointing. A federal jury said in a mixed ruling May 2 that Samsung infringed on several Apple patents, but ruled Samsung innocent of infringing several others. The jury ruled that Samsung should pay Apple $119.6 million in damages, far less than the amount Apple had sought. And Apple was ordered to pay Samsung $158,400 for its own patent infringements.
That trial was the second in a series, with more to come. In the first trial, in 2012, a judge ordered Samsung to pay Apple more that $930 million in damages for infringing on Apple patents.