Not even a day after a new report that Apple and Samsung had resumed settlement talks, lawyers from both sides have expressed difficulties with one another. As part of a court-mandated update from the pair, following the conclusion of their second major US trial earlier this month, lawyers from both companies said settlement talks had not only been a failure in the past, but were stymied by actions following the trial.
Samsung's top lawyer called the protracted trial "Apple's Vietnam"
For Apple, that includes statements made by Samsung's lead attorney John Quinn, who referred to Apple as a "jihadist" and called the protracted trial "Apple's Vietnam" in a pair of interviews. In a letter between the two law firms dated last week, Apple's law firm WilmerHale expressed reservations about spending additional time on discussing settlement options based on those interviews. The firm also accused Samsung of using the initial settlement talks to license Apple's patents in order to "clone Apple products," something the iPhone-maker called "counterfactual."
On Samsung's side, the company's lawyers claimed Apple was lording over it using court victories to dictate any possible settlement terms. That included discussions to reduce patent royalty payments, something the two companies have warred over extensively. Moreover, whatever Samsung's top lawyer had to say about that matter, had "little, if anything" to do with the company's willingness to settle, Samsung wrote in the filing, adding that it believed Apple sought to "impose an obstacle" to reaching a resolution.
The filing comes just days after Apple settled with Google's Motorola Mobility unit in a long-running series of lawsuits worldwide, though this battle with Samsung has been far more personal. While the two are rivals, Samsung is firmly entrenched as the top maker of Android phones, something Apple has long viewed as a "stolen" product.
Back-and-forth suggests neither side wants to settle
The back-and-forth between the two sides suggests neither corporate behemoth was particularly interested in reaching a settlement, despite overtures to the contrary and pleas from Judge Lucy Koh. With the potential damages a mere scratch on each company's bottom line, and sales bans only affecting long-obsolete products, Apple and Samsung have little motivation to settle. Both sides' lawyers are essentially making excuses to avoid reconciling on the real issues.
The second major trial between the two companies wrapped up earlier this month, with a California jury deciding that both Apple and Samsung infringed on one another's patents. However the brunt of that was on Samsung, which was found to infringe on three of Apple's patents, and owed $119,625,000 as a result. Apple was found to infringe on one of Samsung's patents, resulting in $158,400 in damages. Both numbers were far below what the companies wanted from one another, which in Apple's case was originally $2.191 billion.
Matt Macari and Sam Byford contributed to this report.