updated 10:31 pm EST, Sun December 29, 2013
Samsung and Apple get back to patent negotiations
After being roundly defeated in a partial damages retrial last month, Samsung has reportedly returned to the patent negotiations table with Apple. The Korea Times reported on Sunday that the two companies have resumed negotiations to resolve their ongoing patent disputes, with officials at the Fair Trade Commission saying the firms are looking to hash out issues surrounding royalties.
"As far as I know, the companies recently resumed working-level discussions toward the signing of a potential deal," the official said. "They are in the process of narrowing differences over royalty payments."
Samsung is hoping to sign a "cross-licensing" deal granting it access to numerous Apple design patents, some standard-essential patents, and other commercial patents. Apple, reportedly, is asking more than $30 per device due to patent violations, and Samsung thinks that figure is too high.
The companies previously agreed to present a settlement proposal to U.S. federal judge Lucy Koh before January 8. Heads of the companies have also met previously, with Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-Sung meeting Apple CEO Tim Cook in San Francisco last year for 17 hours of discussions on the matter. That meeting, though, failed to produce a resolution, and the court cases have continued.
Apple has, of late, gotten the better of its South Korean rival, winning $290 million in damages in the recent retrial. That victory put Samsung on the hook for roughly $900 million, less than the initial $1.05 billion patent victory from last year, but still far more than Samsung had hoped to pay.
In addition to the damages retrial loss, Samsung was handed a setback in a German case, when a German court suspended its case against Apple, pointing out that the patent Samsung was claiming may be invalid. Encouraged by the retrial win, Apple filed a bid to renew injunction efforts against Samsung products violating some of its patents.