Apple & Samsung Agree with Court-Suggested Settlement Talks

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Apple and Samsung have agreed to settlement talks recommended by Judge Lucy Koh in the company’s epic patent dispute in the U.S. Both companies have signed off on having their CEOs—Apple’s Tim Cook and Samsung’s Choi Gee-sung—participate in the settlement talks, which will be overseen by a San Francisco-based magistrate.

Apple & Samsung

According to Reuters, the two firms have been engaged in a patent war since Samsung released its Galaxy line of Android-powered smartphone and tablets. The late Steve Jobs accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying Apple’s own iPhone and iPad devices, a line that has been repeated often and loudly in court filings around the world.

Both companies have sued, counter sued, and complained with regulatory bodies like the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Each has scored minor victories along the way, but neither company has scored a knockout blow that would force the other to capitulate.

The court battles in the U.S. have been presided over by Judge Koh. In December of 2011, Judge Koh rejected Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung, and she expressed doubt at that time over the validity of the design patent Apple was trying to assert.

Steve Jobs was outraged at what he saw as the wholesale theft of Apple’s design and software inventions. In the Walter Isaacson biography Steve Jobs, Mr. Jobs threatened thermonuclear war over the issue, and promised to spend every penny of what was at that time a US$40 billion war chest in the process if he had to.

That war chest has ballooned to more than $100 billion, but judging by today’s news, Mr. Jobs’s successor, Tim Cook, appears willing to settle the patent battles rather than going the distance.

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10 Comments Leave Your Own

Lee Dronick

Okay here comes the deal. Samsung will stop ripping off Apple, but will be the manufacturer and seller of the Apple brand TV.

Bryan Chaffin

Samsung might be a component maker for Apple’s TV, but Apple will directly contract the manufacturing to the usual suspects.

I suspect this will go precisely where Brad Hutchings said it would: A cross-licensing agreement. I poopooed the idea at the time, but that was when Steve was still with us.  I think Tim Cook is more pragmatic and has less (or no) religion on this, just as with dividends.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Real Cold Warriors know that going thermonuclear gets inflicts unacceptable damage on your own side as well. Killing 80 million of theirs at a cost of 10 million of yours is not a win. It’s 90 million people dead, 10 million of which are yours. As it turns out, neither side got their missiles off the ground. We’re all quite fortunate for that.

My final conclusion about Steve Jobs (for the time being anyway) is that it must be really easy to be belligerent when you are pretty certain that you won’t be around to deal with the consequences. Cookie is in for the long haul. He knows that Apple has to play in a competitive environment, that it can’t just hit ctrl-z, errrrr, command-z on Android and make it go away. He’s probably also wise enough to realize that 30% of the market with iOS and Android is probably more valuable than 100% of the market that iOS would have grown on its own. Most Android people, when they see what they’ve got here, don’t want the shackles of the iOS world. They’d opt out rather than enroll in that prison. grin

Bryan Chaffin

it must be really easy to be belligerent when you are pretty certain that you won?t be around to deal with the consequences.

I call BS on that, Brad. Steve was clearly driven by his self-centered sense of right and wrong. To so flippantly dismiss something he felt passionate about as a casual decision rooted in knowing he was mortal is not only devoid of logic, it’s patently shallow.

If anything, all indications are that Steve thought he would beat the disease killing him until the last few months of his life.

John Dingler, artist

Apple’s forceful attitude, prickliness, and sagacity that contributes to its feared image. This commands respect, compelling most to keep a distance.

Yes, Samsung did not with the copy of the iPhone, but, with the gentle Cook which leads to a relaxed Apple staff, all are likely to become dull against the competition, specifically in the negotiations ordered by the judge, as well as in product execution.

I am afraid that the against-all-odds attitude which Jobs introduced is now being weakened, with Cook, with seemingly less fire in his guts, possibly negotiating to thieving Samsung down to a possible capitulation, the very thing for which I admire Jobs adamantly refusing to do.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I think a lot of people on all sides of the dispute gave Steve room to be totally self absorbed with this. Kinda like a billionaire version of Make a Wish. Actually, exactly like that. I can see how it would be heart-warming to many, while I found it pretty disgusting. But he’s gone now, and it’s time to get back to the realities of business.

@artist: I’m just curious if you’ve seen Guy Kawasaki go batpoop crazy in a good way with his stylus powered Samsung Galaxy Note of late. If you have, you’d know that Sammy makes some pretty magical products itself. In fact, it makes some magical things that Steve Jobs would totally hate, but which millions of customers really appreciate. That, my friend, is the conundrum of taking Apple’s side in this silly war.

John Dingler, artist

Hi Brad,
Thanks for your reply. Please give us five successful “realities” in Apple’s current state of business world-wide.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Tell you what John. I will give you one. Apple commands a respectable 5.7% of the Chinese phone market. The article hits the nail right on the head. Android offers variety and choice, which gives more people the chance to find just the right phone for them. Apple offers basically 1 phone, which gives people who love that one phone the chance to find the right phone for them.

Sure, you can probably build a $500B+ market cap company on that model, but it is a strong, profitable niche player, not a dominant platform. Once you let the stupid people into the market, they want variety and choice, regardless of whether the designer was Jesus Christ, Steve Jobs, or even David Koresh. BTW, Merry Koreshmas on Thursday everyone. Funny how people are about variety.

Bryan Chaffin

Which is precisely why I’ve maintained that there’s plenty of room for both platforms and that Google and Apple aren’t even playing the same game.

I suspect that Apple will eventually take 15% of the smartphone market in China. That will be a huge win for Apple that still leaves with 80-90% of all hardware profits, even while Google rakes in the ad dough.

RonMacGuy

I call BS on that, Brad.

LOL, is there ever anything else?  Oh, well there’s avoidance of accountability too.

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