In the consumer electronics market, the top two biggest players are easily Apple and Samsung. Both of these companies have two widely different philosophies when it comes down to their products, and have been at war with one another for quite a few years now. Apple and Samsung have continually been in lawsuits with one another over supposed patent infringements. In fact, over 40 patent lawsuits have been filed to date between the two tech mega-giants. Although the disputes aren’t entirely over just yet, it looks like the two companies are finally coming to terms in most countries outside of the United States of America.
Apple and Samsung have just recently reported that they will both be signing an agreement to end all patent disputes in numerous countries outside of the US, including Japan, Spain, France, Germany, Britain, South Korea, the Netherlands, Australia and Britain. In this agreement between the two companies, it has been reported that “Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States. This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in US courts.” In regards to the lawsuits between Samsung and Apple, the former has had the upper-hand for quite some time. Just three months ago, a California-based jury awarded Apple with $119 million out of a lawsuit that totaled $2.2 billion against Samsung. Back in 2012 in the US, Samsung was ordered to shell out a whopping $1 billion to Apple. Samsung has said that they are appealing for these past two rulings, but we have yet to hear more information on how those will play out.
As most of you are probably familiar with by now, these patent infringement lawsuits with Apple and other Android manufacturers is nothing new. The lawsuits originally started back in 2009 with lawsuits facing Nokia, closely followed by lawsuits against HTC in 2010. Samsung first saw the lawsuits start to pile up against then way back in 2011, a full three years ago. All of these lawsuits were highly driven and pushed by Apple’s former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs. Jobs had always had it out for these other manufacturers during his time at the company before he passed away, but with Apple now under the leadership of Tim Cook, it’s hopeful to see these lawsuits between Apple and Samsung being dropped in all of these countries. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen potential news of a truce between the two companies. Back in February of this year, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and numerous Samsung executives sat down to try and work out a mutual agreement between each other. As to no one’s surprise, they weren’t able to come to an agreement.
Judge Lucy Koh is part of the United States District Court in San Jose, California and is currently overseeing the lawsuits between both Apple and Samsung. When Koh was speaking to the company lawyers for the two tech giants a couple of years ago, she stated that “If all you wanted is to raise awareness that you have I.P. [intellectual property] on these devices, messages delivered. In many respects, mission accomplished. It’s time for peace. If you could have your CEOs have one last conversation, I’d appreciate it.”