End of the Patent Wars? Apple and Samsung Talk Accords

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, it’s likely you’ve at least heard about the ongoing (and seemingly never-ending) patent wars between tech giants Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. Well, it seems that, with any luck, that all may come to a (relatively) quiet and dare we say somewhat peaceful end. According to news reports, Samsung and Apple are in the midst of talks regarding the possibility of a patent accord.

The royalties deal would put an end to all of their litigation, an official at the Korea Fair Trade Commission told the Korea Times, per CNET. The two companies are trying to “reduce their differences” over royalty payments and the Korean regulator is attempting to aid the negotiations, in partnership with both American and European antitrust watchdogs, reports CNET.

Apple and Samsung have engaged in a spat of lawsuits across the globe in the past two years, and this isn’t the first time that the two companies have attempted negotiations; according to CNET, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-Sung discussed the idea last year, but the 17-hour talks ended in failure.

Apple won an important patent infringement suit between the two companies; the suit could bring in up to $890 million for Apple. That turn of events may have been what inspired Samsung to re-engage in talks with its competitor in hopes of an accord.

It seems that at this stage, the two companies remain steadfast, each believing that the other is being unreasonable with regards to the dollar values they are placing on the result of the settlement. Samsung is willing to enter into a cross-licensing agreement with Apple; an arrangement that would allow both companies access to the intellectual property they need for a set price, while Apple demands that Samsung pay more than $30 in fees for every device that is currently infringing on its patents.

If this second set of talks between the companies also fails, there is a long road ahead of both parties towards achieving their end goal; the two tech giants are scheduled to enter into yet another patent-infringement battle early next year, and several others will follow.

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