In the past two years, Patent Wars have made a comeback. In all spheres of the technology sector, there have been numerous lawsuits between companies over use of their intellectual property. One of the fiercest of these battles is the one between Samsung and Apple. After over a year of legal battles across various countries, the battle may soon see an ending.
Apple alleged that Samsung’s wildly successful Galaxy S range was ripped off from their iPhone 3GS Design. They sued them in a US court asking that the phone be banned from selling in USA. In retaliation, Samsung sued them for Patent Violations in several other countries. This started a chain of dozens of lawsuits that cost time, money and frustration to both companies. Apple also alleged that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 was a rip-off of the design of the iPad. Due to this, German and Australian courts temporarily banned Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab in their countries. Samsung was forced to slightly change the design and release a similar model.
Along with Apple’s feud with Samsung, we learnt of Apple’s vendetta against Google’s Android, the OS that soon overshadowed their iPhone’s popularity in sales. Apple’s founder Steve Jobs, who recently passed away, had said in his biography that he felt Android was a complete rip off of iOS. He had said that he would spend billions of dollars of the company’s money just to ensure Android was killed.
As more and more industry experts feel it is time for Apple to call it quits in the patent war Apple, under the leadership of the new CEO Tim Cook, seem like they may be heading in a different direction.
“People familiar with the situation, however, note that top-level executives at both Apple and Samsung have communicated lately about potential settlement options,” the report today says.
“Apple CEO Tim Cook does not seem to share his predecessor’s passion about laying all foes to waste,” says Paul Barrett of Bloomberg in a report. “Cook appears to view litigation as a necessary evil, not a vehicle of cosmic revenge.”
It is noteworthy that Judge Koh, overseeing the case in the US, wrote, in reference to the iPad’s design being copied, “The Court therefore finds that Samsung has raised a substantial question regarding the validity of the D’889 patent on obviousness grounds.”
It is interesting to note that Apple is one of Samsung’s biggest customer. Samsung supplies the displays for Apple iPads and iPhones and has sold them tens of millions of displays. The likelihood of a settlement seems to have increased, and only time will tell if the two companies will find an amicable solution out of this.