The Korea Times reported yesterday that Apple and Samsung were negotiating an out of court settlement that would potentially put an end to the long standing legal drama. Less than 24 hours later, lawyers for both companies have told a California court that they’ve been unable to resolve their differences and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
And as settlement talks dissolve without an agreement in sight, a court-mandated update on these discussions has revealed how mistrustful the two parties have grown of each other. According to Samsung’s top lawyer who referred to Apple as a “jihadist,” the trial will go down in history as “Apple’s Vietnam”…
Samsung’s lawyer has gone as far as to declare victory in the latest trial and predicted that Apple won’t see any money from the $119 million award.
The Verge reports:
In a letter between the two law firms dated last week, Apple’s law firm WilmerHale expressed reservations about spending additional time on discussing settlement options based on those interviews.
The firm also accused Samsung of using the initial settlement talks to license Apple’s patents in order to “clone Apple products,” something the iPhone-maker called “counterfactual.”
In the meantime, Samsung’s legal sharks accused Apple of using court victories to dictate any possible settlement terms, including reducing patent royalty payments.
Patent blogger Florian Müeller told The Korea Times yesterday that a settlement in this lawsuit was within reach. He even predicted that “things should come to an end during the summer.”
To him, Apple’s lack of an endgame strategy and a settlement with Google a few days ago shows that Tim Cook & Co. are “looking for a face-saving exit strategy from Steve Jobs’ thermonuclear ambitions.”
Indeed, why would Samsung agree to settle with Apple?
A wide-reaching sales ban on infringing products remains a distant possibility.
And if imposed, it would only affect the infringing products that are no longer on sale or are not major revenue makers.
And as far as Samsung goes, the $900+ million award to Apple from the first trial and the $119 million ruling in Apple’s favor in the second trial is a drop in the bucket of the South Korean firm’s massive profits.
For fast-follower Samsung, copying other people’s work and patents is a viable business strategy because market share gains and revenues generated far outweigh any potential damages claim.
Is there an end in sight to this patent spat?