This past weekend we were hit with an unexpected update in the Apple vs HTC legal battle, as the two parties announced they have settled out of court. Under the undisclosed terms of the settlement, Apple and HTC have signed a 10-year cross-licensing deal, with HTC rumored to pay the iPhone maker $6-8 per Android handset sold.
Does that mean that other major Android players are also ready to settle with Apple, namely Samsung and Google/Motorola? We have no idea what Google has planned for its legal fight against the Cupertino-based company, but Samsung appears to be committed to continue the war in courts.
Yonhap News says that Samsung’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun confirmed to South Korean media that the company would rather play this one in courts:
“It may be true that HTC may have agreed to pay 300 billion won (US$276 million) to Apple, but we don’t intend to (negotiate) at all,” Shin Jong-kyun, who heads the South Korean tech giant’s mobile and IT division, told reporters.
While that may be what you’d expect from giant corporations like Samsung and Apple – probably Tim Cook would have a similar stance on the matter – we will remind you, and the CEOs, that unless we don’t have our facts right, the two companies have negotiated at least a couple of times already, as ordered by a U.S. court. So neither company can claim they won’t “negotiate at all” with the other side, because such negotiations have taken place and they were unsuccessful.
As for any payments, we’ll remind you that Samsung has lost its first U.S. court against Apple, with the jury finding in favor of the latter and awarding it a $1.05 billion in damages that Samsung would have to pay if the verdict doesn’t get overturned in appeals.
At the same time, Apple owes Samsung legal fees for the UK trials where the South Korean company managed to score a few victories against Apple lately, all triggered by a recent ruling that said the Galaxy Tab 10.1 does not infringe on iPad patents. That ruling came with a twist for Apple: it had to post apologies to Samsung on its website and in print media, which Apple failed to accomplish exactly as instructed by the court. This led to a new verdict in the case, which requires Apple to pay Samsung’s lawyers involved in the case.
Leaving statements aside, the legal matters between the two companies are far from over though, as Apple and Samsung still face each other in a variety of patent trials around the world, with some of them set to start only in the following years. In other words, a settlement between the two may be more beneficial than keeping so many patent lawyers on retainer for so long.