Korea Times (via Fortune) has reported that Apple and Samsung are in talks to settle all future patent disputes out of court. FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller believes that a settlement will be reached “very soon.”
“Things should come to an end during the summer. Apple doesn’t have an endgame strategy. Its agreement with Google shows that its management is looking for a face-saving exit strategy from Steve Jobs’ thermonuclear ambitions,” Mueller said …
Mueller believes that a one-time payment from Samsung to Apple for all past infringements will allow both companies to move on, establishing a cease-fire agreement which would commit both parties to staying out of court for a set timeframe.
Apple last week agreed to settle its patent claims against Google’s Motorola Mobility, and to “work together” on some kind of patent reform.
Having spent the last few years waging bitter patent campaigns against each other in court, it seemed unlikely that Apple would be willing to afford similar treatment to Samsung.
But that’s exactly what’s happening,
According to a new report from The Korea Times, which states that Samsung has recently resumed working-level discussions with Apple — with the goal being to dismiss all lawsuits and work out a royalty payment going forward for patents owned by both companies.
While Apple received close to a billion dollars from its first court battle with Samsung (later adjusted to $930M), the more recent award of just $119M may have influenced the company’s cost-benefit analysis of future litigation.
In addition to the doubtless massive legal costs involved, Apple also has to consider the distraction of prepping senior execs for trial and the embarrassment factor of emails and other materials that, sometimes, become public in the course of such cases.
Obviously nothing is set in stone until both sides are happy with the terms offered, since out-of-court negotiations between the two sides have failed before, but this at least seems like a step in the right direction.