Apple and Samsung struggle to find patent peace, even after Google truce


Apple and Google last week declared a dramatic peace in their global battle over smartphone patents, but there’s little indication the pact will end legal hostilities between Apple and its Korean rival, Samsung. Instead, the two companies traded insults in a new court filing that was supposed to describe their efforts to settle a long-running patent case in California.

In the filing, Apple complains that Samsung’s head lawyer, John Quinn, described the iPhone maker as a “jihadist” to the media, and that Quinn had also described the patent case as “Apple’s Vietnam.” Apple also points to a new Vanity Fair article that claims Samsung systemically filches others’ intellectual property part of its business model.

Samsung, meanwhile, claims in the filing that Apple is demanding improper concessions before settlement talks even begin — specifically, that Apple insists that Samsung not bring up the talks in unrelated legal proceedings.

“Only Apple,” says Samsung, “seeks to impose an obstacle to this resolution through a unilateral condition precedent to further [Alternative Dispute Resolution].”

All of this is unlikely to please U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who has now presided over three hoopla-filled jury trials in San Jose, and who has repeatedly tried to browbeat the two companies into settling.

Despite reports in the Korean press that settlement talks are underway, the new filings suggest they may be a long time coming.

Last week’s landmark settlement between Apple and Google (which makes the Android operating system used by Samsung in its mobile devices) suggested that the smartphone industry has finally grown exhausted with patent litigation, which has done little to affect the market for mobile devices. Instead, it looks as if the lawyers will get to keep billing for a little longer.

Here’s the ADR filing, first spotted by The Verge:

Apple Samsung Settlement

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