Apple and Samsung are reportedly talking settlements again
30th Dec 2013 | 21:33
Could the never-ending patent war be over?
Apple and Samsung have been battling over patents for more than two years, but the two companies may finally reach an agreement.
An official at the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has revealed to The Korea Times that Samsung and Apple "recently resumed working-level discussions toward the signing of a potential deal."
"They are in the process of narrowing differences over royalty payments," the official said.
If true, this isn't the first time the two tech giants have been involved in "peace talks," and the last time didn't go so well. But maybe they're as tired of this pointless battle as everyone else is by now?
'Money and pride'
A Samsung source allegedly told The Korea Times that Samsung mobile boss Shin Jong-kyun may fly to the US for more peace talks with Apple CEO Tim Cook early in 2014.
The two companies still have their differences; Samsung reportedly wants a comprehensive cross-licensing deal where it has access to all essential Apple patents, while Apple wants Samsung to pay $30 for every infringing device.
But the KFTC official said that this is not really a "political issue" at all; in reality it's "all about money and pride."
No surprise there. But both companies are supposedly being more flexible in their negotiations this time around.
Cutting their losses?
Anti-trust regulators in Europe and the United States are reportedly involved with the KFTC in discussing this matter.
Court battles between Apple and Samsung are scheduled to resume in 2014, though perhaps not if the companies can reach an agreement soon.
Samsung previously was ordered in California to pay over $1 billion (about £605m, AU$1.12b) to Apple, a sum that was subsequently halved by another court, then added to again.
Most recently Samsung lost another case to Apple in Korea. That may be a factor in its willingness to negotiate with the iPhone maker, though its bargaining position may be somewhat reduced.
We asked Samsung and Apple to comment on whether they've once again struck up negotiations, and we'll update here if we get word from either.