Apple may settle patent fights with Samsung

Updated: 2012-03-30 04:01


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SAN FRANCISCO - US media reported on Thursday that top-level executives at Apple and Samsung have met lately about a potential patent settlement.

"Apple CEO Tim Cook does not seem to share his predecessor's passion about laying all foes to waste. Cook appears to view litigation as a necessary evil, not a vehicle of cosmic revenge," said a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story titled "Steve Jobs' last war."

Last April, Apple sued Samsung in a US court in northern California, alleging that the Korean maker's smartphones and Galaxy line of tablet computers violated Apple's patent and trademark. Samsung later countersued Apple, pitting against the rival in courts around the world.

Besides Samsung, Apple has also been filing suits against other manufacturers like HTC and Motorola Mobility, which are actually proxies for Apple products' major competitor Android, the operating system Google gives away to device makers.

In the official biography of Steve Jobs, the late Apple co- founder told author Walter Isaacson that "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to and I will spend every penny of Apple's 40 billion US dollars in the bank, to right this wrong," according to the biography.

As Bloomberg points out in the report, the tech giant could save themselves considerable legal fees and distraction in the short run. The process may resolve similar litigation in the desktop computer field. In 1997, Microsoft announced an investment of 150 million dollars in Apple, saying the two companies had reached settlement to a long-standing dispute over whether Microsoft's Windows operating system infringes on Apple's patents.

In the long run, the competition between Apple and Google is nowhere near resolution, said the Bloomberg report. While fighting for dominance in mobile devices, the two tech giants, along with Microsoft are all gearing up for a future battle over the market for smart TV.