We've heard rumblings for some time that Steve Jobs initiated talks with Samsung back in 2010 in an attempt to head off a patent infringement suit against the Korean device manufacturer, but the extent of those talks are just now coming to light. In a recent filing in California federal court, Apple details the negotiations it pursued with Samsung between July and September of 2010 — several months prior to the initiation of patent litigation in April 2011.
In an attempt to bolster allegations that Samsung was fully aware of its patents and was "willfully infringing," Apple outlined its 2010 negotiations with Samsung in the filing. Unsurprisingly, Apple confirms that the first patent talks with Samsung did indeed take place back in July 2010. However, Apple then goes on to identify three more attempts that summer to convince Samsung that it infringed, including separate meetings between the two companies in Korea and Cupertino where Apple further presented its infringement allegations with comparison photographs and patent claim charts:
On or about August 4, 2010, Apple representatives met with Samsung in Korea and showed a presentation titled 'Samsung's Use of Apple Patents in Smartphones.' This presentation emphasized Samsung's copying of the iPhone and identified two of the patents-in-suit (the '002 and '381 patents), giving Samsung actual notice of at least these patents, and many more.
On or about August 26, 2010, Apple sent Samsung an electronic archive file containing claim charts further illustrating Samsung's infringement of Apple patents. A presentation document that accompanied these claim charts identified the '002 and '381 patents as two patents that Samsung products infringed, and it substantiated these allegations with text from the patents and photographs of Samsung devices illustrating infringing functionality. Apple later presented these slides to Samsung at a meeting in Cupertino, California on or about September 9, 2010.
We can only speculate on what the mood might have been in those meetings, but given Samsung's commitment to new product releases over the last two years, things obviously didn't go as planned for Apple. Regardless, the extent of the negotiations between the two companies seems to suggest that Jobs' famous claim that he was willing to go "thermonuclear war" on Android isn't entirely consistent with Apple's behavior at the time.