Apple-Samsung ‘peace talks’ end in acrimony over patent values

By Peter Gothard
24 Jul 2012 View Comments
The iPhone 4v and the Samsung Galaxy smartphone

In the face of more upcoming court cases in the ongoing patent battle between Apple and Samsung, the two companies' bosses attempted another "peace talk" last week. True to form, the summit deteriorated into yet another dispute, this time over the value of their respective patents.

After May's similarly failed meeting, last week saw Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung vice chairman Choi Gee-sung, as well as its mobile chief Shin Jong-Kyun, meet up in San Francisco to try to thrash out what the courts have so far failed to achieve.

Further reading

The meeting was arranged to help the companies' leaders address the fundamental issues at the heart of the various cases, ahead of a major court meeting in San Jose on 30 July.

The case will be of particular importance to both companies due to Apple's current dominance of the US market. where sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus tablet have already been banned ahead of the trial.

However, sources close to last week's meeting told Reuters that the companies could still not agree on the value of each other's patents, disagreeing in particular on which kinds of patents could be considered industry standards in order to promote technology progress.

Apple considers that such intellectual property staples that still belong to it exclusively include utility patents, in particular touch-screen gestures, such as single-finger slide movements on screen locks, and multiple-finger "pinch" manoeuvres to zoom images.

Samsung, on the other hand, believes its patents are more valuable as they reflect technological innovation, particularly in 4G mobile networking, rather than Apple's broader patents based more on ideas and concepts.

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