Samsung Ready to Resume Patent Talks with Apple

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After taking several sound beatings in courtrooms over infringing on Apple's mobile device patents, Samsung is heading back to the negotiation table in hopes of landing a licensing deal.The two companies have been involved in on again, off again negotiations for some time, but their inability to reach a patent licensing agreement has ultimately led to a series of courtroom battles that Samsung typically loses.

Samsung returns to the patent negotiation table with AppleSamsung returns to the patent negotiation table with Apple

News of the renewed mobile device patent licensing talks came courtesy of an unnamed official at the Fair Trade Commission, according to the Korea Times. The official said,

As far as I know, the companies recently resumed working-level discussions toward the signing of a potential deal. They are in the process of narrowing differences over royalty payments.

Samsung and Apple have been fighting in courts around the world over allegations that they are using each other's mobile device patents without proper licensing. Apple's highest profile win came in August 2012 when a U.S. Federal Jury ruled Samsung was willfully violating a long list of its design patents and awarded Apple over US$1 billion. That amount was recently reset at a little over $900 million in a damages retrial because part of the original amount had been improperly calculated.

News of the new negotiations comes along with word that Apple has started to pursue a permanent injunction against several Android-based devices from Samsung. The injunction had been denied, but a Federal Appeals Court has revived the possibility, and Apple is moving forward with it.

Most of the devices on the injunction list aren't available any more, but that's beside the point for Apple. Assuming the iPhone and iPad maker can get its injunction, it will have an even stronger position in its upcoming 2014 trial with Samsung over more devices it thinks infringe on the same patents.

For Samsung, the new negotiations could mean the company is finally getting tired of losing in court, although this might also be yet another tactic in its ongoing legal battle. Claiming it tried to negotiate a licensing deal with Apple, but failed, could be presented in a way to show Apple is intentionally refusing to strike a deal.

Neither side is talking about the reported negotiations. If they are, in fact, in talks and can strike a deal, it would ultimately bring an end to the ongoing courtroom fight that's become routine business for both.

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Coming back to the negotiation table could mean Samsung is finally getting tired of losing 
to Apple in court, or the electronics maker has some other plan where it wants to show Apple as an uncooperative agressor. Either way, there isn't much chance of next March's patent infringement trial getting called off just yet.

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Maybe finally there’s some adult leadership.


Apple has no reason (and no legal obligation) to license any of their IP to Samsung.


Not quite - it has reason, and possibly an obligation, to license any standards-essential patents. It doesn’t have many of those but it does have some.

Samsung, on the other hand, has lots and seems to have been breaking the FRAND rules about licensing them. This will hurt them in the long run as the standards bodies will be very leery about accepting Samsung’s things into a standard.

John Dingler, artist

I want Samsung and Google to simply stop the infringement of Apple’s IPs. Simple. Where Apple goes, they follow. That’s true leadership. Thank God we have Apple to straighten and pave the formerly dirt roads, to give guidance to the unimaginative, to successfully roll tho boulder all the way to the top of the mountain, as well as to light the way for the blind.

Just think of how much R&D brainpower, time, and wealth those followers have already saved by being supreme serial copyists.


Sometimes Samsung leads. With terrifying results. See Samsung “Gear” watch.


Not necessary so, more like a delaying tactic.

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