Apple is making strong demands — including that it be the only party compensated — in discussions with Samsung Electronics about possibly settling all pending lawsuits between the two corporate behemoths, sources said Tuesday.
A copy of a court document regarding the matter was obtained by The Korea Times.
“Only Apple seeks to impose an obstacle to this resolution through a unilateral condition precedent to further alternative dispute resolutions (ADR),” the document said. “Samsung remains amenable to discussing settlement of these cases without seeking to impose any comparable conditions upon Apple.”
The filing was titled, “Joint Submission in Response to the Court’s Request Regarding ADR.”
Representing Samsung, Victoria Maroulis of Quinn Emanuel responded to Apple’s letter on May 13 from attorney William F. Lee, saying that Samsung was agreeable to engage in ADR.
“Samsung’s executives traveled from Korea to Los Angeles and San Francisco on numerous occasions to participate in the prior ADR meetings," Maroulis said.
Mentioning the latest findings by U.S. jurors that cited Apple’s infringement on some Samsung patents, the Samsung attorney suggested Apple cut down its conditions for a resolution.
“Apple further contends that ‘a resolution must include compensation to Apple for Samsung’s use of Apple’s IP.’ However, and as Apple knows well, Apple has been found to have infringed Samsung’s patents throughout the world, including twice in the U.S. — once in the ITC and again most recently in the 630 case,” the Samsung attorney said.
“In any event, Apple’s insistence that a condition precedent to further ADR be that it is the only party to be compensated runs contrary to its purported ‘commitment to a resolution of this matter,’” according to Samsung’s response to Apple’s letter.
Apple also confirmed that it’s been in talks with Samsung to put an end to all litigation issues.
“Upon the receipt of assurances that Samsung will not use in any of the worldwide litigations Apple’s participation in ADR to resist an injunction or reduce royalties, and that Samsung is genuinely interested in reaching a resolution of these issues, Apple will engage in further ADR proceedings to resolve the present lawsuits and avoid future litigation,” Apple said in the filing, adding that it has always been committed to a resolution with Samsung.
After the recent verdict, U.S. Federal Judge Lucy H. Koh had asked the parties to make another attempt to settle their patent dispute and requested information on the status of those efforts.
The Korea Times was the first to report that the two companies were engaged in “working-level discussions” to dismiss all lawsuits.
“For now, they are unable to agree on formal mediation proceedings; however, I am sure they are talking, just informally,” Florian Mueller of FossPatents said via e-mail.
Settling with Google Motorola was one step for Apple, raising expectations that the Samsung-Apple dispute might end in the near future.
Apple has won two victories against Samsung in the U.S. alone, with more than $1 billion in damages awarded. The first case was decided in 2012, and the second earlier this month. Samsung is appealing both lawsuits.
"The lawsuits have certainly become a painful distraction and big financial burden to both," said a source familiar with the issue.