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Apple and Samsung reportedly sought to settle epic patent fight

July 19, 2013|By Chris O'Brien
  • Apple and Samsung have been suing each other for years over smartphone patents. But maybe, behind the scenes, they are seeking to make peace.
Apple and Samsung have been suing each other for years over smartphone patents.… (Park Ji-Hwan / AFP/Getty…)

After spending years and millions of dollars suing each other over their respective smartphone patents, Apple and Samsung have held talks this year in an attempt to reach a settlement. 

The discussions were disclosed in documents recently released by the U.S. International Trade Commission as part of a ruling it made granting a ban on Apple products, as had been requested by Samsung. President Obama must decide in the coming weeks whether to uphold that ban.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the documents revealed that Apple made a settlement offer last September. That was shortly after a U.S. jury ordered Samsung to pay $1 billion for violating Apple's patents.

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No terms of the settlement offers were revealed. But it appears that talks gained momentum from December through March. There were several rounds of negotiations, but so far, no agreement has been reached, the Journal reported. 

While Samsung is one of Apple's biggest suppliers of components for its smartphones, the two companies have become bitter rivals in recent years. In 2011, Samsung entered the smartphone market and quickly surpassed Apple as the world's biggest seller of the gadgets. 

While Samsung's phones run on the Android operating system, Apple has sued, accusing the company of copying many of its features. Samsung, in turn, has counter-sued, claiming Apple has breached many of its wireless patents. 

The result has been a tangled web of litigation across the globe with each company fighting for advantage in countless jurisdictions. 

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