Although Apple and Samsung have been suing each other for less then three years, but it feels more like a decade. While Apple seems to be winning, however slowly, it could be years before patent peace is achieved. Now, there’s reason for new hope.
According to a Reuters write up, Apple and Samsung have agreed to seek arbitration to settle their long-running legal feud. Specifically, lawyers for the two companies met on Monday, January 6 to “discuss settlement” opportunities and, then on Wednesday, filed court documents announcing their intention to seek arbitration.
In-house lawyers for Apple and Samsung are to meet on or before February 19. Further, the company’s respective CEOs, Tim Cook and Oh-Hyun Kwon will attend, a factor that indicates that the two sides are serious about the possibility of achieving patent peace.
With the Cook and Kwon in attendance, any sticking points can be ironed out on the spot by the two men rather waiting for the lawyers, who get paid by the hour.
Patent Peace: A Real Chance?
Recent months have seen the tide of war turn slowly against Samsung, both in the courtroom and in the marketplace. Apple has won a string of small court victories against Samsung, including a humiliating win in its home market, Korea.
Further, recent court rulings and legal maneuvering in the US finds Apple once again confident enough to seek an import ban on Samsung products — legal experts generally the iPhone maker could succeed.
Worst of all for Samsung, the company’s flagship Galaxy S4 has failed to build on the company’s earlier momentum, resulting in disappointing Q4 2013 results. While their mounting legal woes likely only played a marginal role in those results, Samsung’s war with Apple is likely seen by company as an unwanted distraction at a time when the Korean electronics giant needs to reset its product strategy.
Nevertheless, this isn’t the first Apple and Samsung have met face-to-face to hammer out an agreement and ‘the fat lady ain’t sung yet’…
Will Apple and Samsung arbitration yield patent peace?