Sound, fury and legal bills — after three trials, the patent battle between Apple and Samsung has changed nothing. It’s time for the companies to declare a peace.
A closer look at Google’s purchase and sale of Motorola shows the final price of the deal was around $4 billion for a big patent portfolio. That’s a reasonable price to pay in the face of a unreasonable patent system.
At a good time for both involved parties, Nokia and Research In Motion have settled all current patent litigation, just in time for RIM to debut BlackBerry 10 devices. Details are confidential, but RIM will make a lump-sum payment and pay ongoing royalties to Nokia.
Samsung said today that it won’t follow HTC’s lead and settle its huge patent war with Apple despite its recent loss in the U.S. courts. But the fight between the two rages on around the world, and the Korean manufacturer may simply be posturing.
U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh denied Samsung’s request to lift the preliminary sales injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet that was placed on the gadget in June ahead of the big patent trial with Apple. But as patent guru Florian Mueller explains, Koh denied the move only on procedural grounds, opting to rule on key questions after a remand. Mueller does a great job explaining how the legal proceedings are likely to play out, but here’s his takeaway: “This means this injunction could become an on-again, off-again thing: granted in June, possibly dissolved in September/October and, potentially, reinstated in or after December.” Meanwhile, the tablet market continues to evolve at a brisk pace.
Apple looks to build on its dominance with the introduction of the iPhone 5, but a patent battle with HTC could result in a ban of its LTE hardware in the U.S. That’s an unlikely scenario, but Apple should nonetheless consider settling this fight.
The fallout continues this morning following Friday night’s judgment in the big patent case between Apple and Samsung: Samsung shares were down 7 percent after the jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion, while the iPhone maker saw its shares reach an all-time high. The judgment doesn’t spell doom for Samsung or Android in general, and we’re likely to see appeals that could take months (or even years) to play out. The verdict could give Microsoft’s Windows Phone a lift, as Computerworld points out, but it’s tough to overstate how big a win this is for Apple. Regardless of what you think of the U.S. patent system — and I think it’s a mess — Apple is likely to continue to use its intellectual property to wage war against Android in the patent courts.
Apple and Samsung must stop selling some of their gadgets in South Korea, Bloomberg reports, after a Seoul court found the two companies infringed on each other’s patents. Apple was found to have violated two Samsung patents regarding the transmission of mobile data, while Samsung violated an Apple patent regarding a touchscreen feature. This ruling alone won’t have a tremendous impact, as it doesn’t apply to recent products from either company. But it’s a timely reminder that while many of us are focused on the U.S. patent trial between the two, there are countless patent squabbles in tech going on all over the world.
Closing arguments are going on now in the Apple vs. Samsung trial, and the jury will likely get the case in the next few hours. It’s a fairly slow news day in the mobile world, so I’ll be following the proceedings and will update this space as developments warrant.
Bloomberg is reporting that the CEOs of Apple and Samsung are talking today in a last-ditch effort to resolve the patent battle playing out in a federal court in the Bay Area. Lawyers for the two companies will report on the negotiations to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who has told both sides a settlement rather than a jury’s decision would be in their best interests. But as my colleague Erica Ogg writes, Apple has risked an enormous amount in an effort to make an example out of Samsung. It would be very surprising if Apple were to settle after going all-in against its massive rival.