A man is silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with a Samsung Galaxy S4 in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

Korea Times (via Fortune) is reporting that Apple and Samsung are in talks designed 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, and to “work together” on some kind of patent reform.

Settling with Samsung is something I suggested in a recent opinion piece. 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 become public in the course of such cases.

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18 Responses to “Apple in talks with Samsung to settle all future patent disputes out of court”

  1. aeronperyton says:

    We’ve beat you. Twice. And that’s just in one country. We’ve also reached an understanding with Google over this. Here’s the agreement you will sign. You can change the wording around a little if you like, but you will sign it. Here, you can use our pen.


  2. TheMacAdvocate says:

    Well this certainly plays into the story Mueller has been telling in his blog over the last 5 months or so when he pulled his abrupt about-face and started backing Samsung. And the Korea Times for a source? Puh-leese.


  3. I understand the need to sue, but this has gotten crazy, hopefully cooler heads will prevail. I am not a fanboy for either camp, since I have used every different brand on the market, currently using Apple; it just fits my needs better than the rest. Let the market share bear out the true results.


    • Ken, got your point. However, the market share will never bear out the true results. Imagine for a moment that you are now spending millions or even billions of dollars attracting and keeping the very top talents and on massive research to build your next smart watch for health tracking purposes and in two years you come out with a ground breaking product. Meanwhile, I am not doing much, because I do not have the talents you have. However less than 200 days after you introduced your product to the market, I replicated it, right to the fonts on the packaging.

      At best I would have spent maybe $5 million tops. I can afford to sell my product at a far lower price, because I have spent so little manufacturing a similar product. In fact, while you are trying to recoup your R&D expenses, I am making some fat profit on mine. Very soon, you will have the market wondering why your product is so expensive, and would rather go for mine. If you complain, the same market will say forget it and spend more money to move on to the next big thing. And the cycle continues. So the market in most cases never bear out the true results. That is why many truly innovative companies have gone kaput over the years.


      • houstonche says:

        I think you over generalized on this. First Samsung is a very capable and talented company. Secondly the tablet concept was attempted well before apple took the plunge. Third, samsung beat apple to the smart watch market, and we still don’t even have confirmation that apple has made one. Fourth, apple is too big to fail from copyright; you are looking at this as if one company is walmart and the other is a mom and pop joint. Finally, apple charges what they charge because they know people will buy it, not to recoup r&d costs.

        Ultimately the public decides what they want and don’t want. Companies have and always will have to play the game.


  4. patstar5 says:

    Finally! Hopefully they can work together to revise patent system. Some things they sued over were ridiculous. Every phone uses multitouch. Wonder if this means apple will be opening there ecosystem to android. They could bring itunes to android.


    • Uh, no phone used multi-touch until the iPhone came out. Your statement is pointless. And no, iTunes isn’t coming to Android.


    • Tallest Skil says:

      Sorry, no, you don’t comprehend anything being discussed. And no, Android will never have iTunes.


      • There has been rumors in the past that Apple was working on and might release an Android version of iTunes. The issue facing Apple right now is what to do about shrinking song purchases. Certainly, an Android version would help, and by releasing an Android version doesn’t mean Apple is cross licensing their iPhone patents. I would even speculate that any Beats music service would probably entail continued support for their music app on Android. And perhaps having the Beats app would allow Apple to sell to Android users without having an “iTunes” app explicitly running on Android.


      • frankman91 says:

        Why not? PC’s have it; why not like the millions with Droids spend money on music in your store?


      • houstonche says:

        To Daniel, iTunes is losing money to streaming services ( hence the beats purchase) but the App Store has been a huge moneymaker for apple. They won’t give that up to android, it’s a huge advantage.


    • Niles has a point. In fact, let me refer you to the work of a very small company called, “Fingerworks,” which pioneered the multi-touch interface that you now take for granted. And given how freely you take multi-touch for granted clearly shows the need for a patent system. What really surprises me about the whole Apple vs. Samsung patent case is how little people know about patents, and how that lack of familiarity with the US patent system allows media types to hype this idea that the system is broken. How would feel if you had invented the first multi-touch phone and then everybody started copying your achievement? Would you have the finances to actually pursue a company like Samsung on your own or would you seek the help of an IP firm simply because you didn’t have the financial resources necessary otherwise?