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Apple and Samsung Chiefs' Peace Talks End In Disagreement Over Patents
(26/07/2012 15:29:15)

It has become common practice to recycle your mobile and upgrade as new advances in technology are made in this highly competitive and aggressive market. With such high stakes to play for the rivalry between the top players is intense.

If you follow the advances made in smartphone and tablet technology and keep abreast of the latest devices coming to market you may be aware of the battle that continues to rage between Californian-based Apple and the Korean giant Samsung as they make claim and counter claim to the courts regarding patent rights and infringements.

The two globally renowned companies have been locked in battle in several countries in various patent disputes concerning 3D chips, search functions and the iPad design.

A US court order was issued for chiefs of these two companies to meet for talks in an attempt to resolve their differences and negotiate a settlement.

In the second of these meetings the Chief Executive of Apple, Tim Cook, met with Samsung’s Vice Chair Choi Gee-sung and mobile boss Shin Jong-Kyun. However sources have reported that this mediation process did not end well with disagreements as to exactly how much power each company can bring to the negotiations based on their intellectual property assets.

Central to this debate is how much negotiating muscle can be accredited to what are being termed standard essential patents. These are the patents that Samsung allowed to be licensed for use by other companies under fair conditions so that those technologies can be adopted by the industry as standard, such as 3G for example.

Because of the nature of these patents court judges are reticent to enforce injunctions against them. For that reason Apple views this class of patents as having less sway in the power game.

It is not just Apple that believes there is an imbalance in the bargaining power of patents held. Samsung contest that they are the party with the stronger portfolio of intellectual property if you take into account patents for emerging technology such as 4G.

There had been hopes that these talks out of court may have lead to some reconciliation between these two rivalling corporations, but that now looks doubtful. Instead it will be for the courts to decide and the case will be heard on 30th July.

In a separate High Court hearing in the UK Samsung won a victory against Apple when the judge ruled that the Samsung tablet did not copy the design of the iPad. Part of this judgement declared that Apple must admit as much in a national newspaper as well as on its website. There is expected to be an appeal from Apple.

Apple have had their own victory though with a court case in the US enforcing a temporary ban on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus sales. In that dispute Apple maintain further patent infringements and that case is expected to be heard on 30th August. So it looks as though the battle between these two giants is set to continue.

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