Apple and Samsung chiefs' peace talks end in disagreement over patents
A MEETING between Apple and Samsung chiefs called to bring a truce in the rivals' ongoing international patent wars ended in disagreement over the value of their inventions, according to sources.
Apple's chief executive Tim Cook met senior Samsung executives on the orders of the US courts.
The pair are waging legal war in several countries, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in the fast-growing market for smartphones and tablets. The claims cover diverse technologies including 3G chips, user interface elements and the design of the iPad.
Mr Cook participated in mediation with Samsung's Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung and mobile chief Shin Jong-Kyun last Monday in the San Francisco area to see if the two sides could resolve the dispute, several separate sources said.
But the meeting, the second in the process, led to disagreement over the bargaining power each firm's intellectual property portfolio gave them.
Among the major issues in dispute between Apple and Samsung is how to value so-called standard essential patents. These are patents which Samsung agreed to license to competitors on fair and reasonable terms, in exchange for having the technology be adopted as an industry standard, such as 3G.
Some judges are reluctant to issue injunctions over such patents.
Apple believes those patents should be valued lower due to those dynamics, one of the sources said. Additionally, Samsung believes it has a stronger patent portfolio than Apple when it comes to next-generation technology like 4G, the source said.
A high-stakes trial is now due to begin on July 30 in San Jose, in Silicon Valley. While a settlement is always possible, it is now unlikely to come ahead of the court case, sources said.
Both firms declined to comment on the mediation meeting.
Apple and Samsung are locked in legal battles around the world. The British High Court recently handed a high-profile victory to Samsung by ruling that it did not copy the design of the iPad for its Galaxy Tab range. As part of the judgment, Apple must admit as much in national newspaper advertising and on its website, although it is expected to appeal.
While both the companies are arch-rivals in the smartphone and tablet marketplace, the row is complicated by the fact that Apple is one of Samsung's largest component customers.