Apple and rival Samsung Electronics agreed to abandon all of their existing patent litigation against each other outside of the United States. However, the companies have not reached any kind of a formal settlement surrounding their patents, and the battles will go on in U.S. courts.
Microsoft sued Samsung Electronics for violating an agreement the two companies struck in 2011 to cross license each other's patents. According to Microsoft, Samsung has been using Microsoft's $7.3 billion deal to acquire Nokia's devices and services business as an "excuse" to break their contract.
Rockstar, a patent consortium owned by Apple, Microsoft, Ericsson, Sony, EMC and BlackBerry, paid $4.5 billion for the 6,000 patents that bankrupt Nortel Networks offered up for auction in 2011. And while the majority of the portfolio's patents have still not expired, there will be a surge in patent expirations starting in 2017, according to a new independent analysis of Rockstar's patents.
Apple's damage award of $119.6 million in its patent-infringement trial against Samsung Electronics was a far cry from the $2.2 billion in damages Apple had sought. More importantly, according to legal experts, the jury's verdict indicates that Apple's legal strategy of suing Samsung has not slowed down Samsung's sales or the momentum of Google's Android operating system.
Samsung Electronics called witnesses in its patent-infringement trial against Apple who testified that it was an intensive and significant shift in marketing and hardware innovation that helped Samsung become the world's largest smartphone maker. The witnesses were seeking to rebut claims by Apple's lawyers that it was only through copying Apple's innovations that Samsung was able to secure its strong place in the market.
Google's Android platform has grown into the world's most popular smartphone operating system, but before Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 it did not support touchscreen inputs, according to court documents.
Apple argued in court that it is due $2.19 billion in damages related to patent-infringement by Samsung Electronics in the smartphone titans' latest patent trial. However, a witness Apple called also indicated that Apple is pushing for a ban on the sale of older Samsung smartphones.
Apple's latest patent-infringement trial against Samsung Electronics is underway in California and slides that were revealed during the trial indicate that Apple is indeed thinking about a larger-sized iPhone to capture a piece of a growing market.
According to a number of reports, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung co-CEO J.K. Shin held a meeting last week in an attempt to iron out the companies' ongoing legal battle over patent infringement. However, according to those reports, Cook and Shin were unable to reach an agreement on the issue and appear set to return to the courtroom in March to continue their dispute.
Samsung Electronics and Ericsson reached a patent-licensing settlement in which Samsung will likely pay Ericsson hundreds of millions of dollars. However, the exact terms of the deal are unclear.