Samsung claims that it has made several options for negotiations with Apple which includes cross-licensing and these are made prior to court-ordered settlement meetings. JK Shin, the mobile division chief of Samsung Electronics, declares that the company is still looking for means to amicably solve their differences with Apple. He understands that a big gap with Apple still exists in the patent warfare but he also welcomes the idea of having several steps for negotiation that would definitely include cross-licensing.
According to Lex Machina, there has been an increase in the number of handset patent infringement cases filed in the US courts. From 24 cases filed in 2006, it has increased to 84 cases in 2010. Such growth in the numbers can be blamed at the speed where the industry evolves. The patent system in the US allows inventors a monopoly on their new ideas in a limited time frame of only twenty years from the day they were filed. This is in striking contrast with the way mobile phone consumers expect huge steps in progress in just a short period of time.
When devices evolve into cameras, internet browsers, and music players, it means an increase in the amount of its intellectual property would naturally follow. With this rate, it’s hard to believe that a single smartphone can possibly have more than 250,000 active patents. When a company frowns at the idea of sharing their advances or being paid for the use of their patents, that’s when the lawyers step in.
Apple has filed design-related rights and patent cases to halt Samsung Electronics in selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to Australia and Germany. Samsung responded by banning the sale of iPhones in Japan and Australia. Other big companies have also been active in court litigations such as Nokia, Kodak, Ericsson, Sony, and LG.
Though it would involve spending a huge amount of money, many experts are saying that acquisitions which encourage cross-licensing deals would prove to be more cost-effective. Under this deal, both companies would swap permission in using each other’s unique inventions.
Being involved in 20 other legal fights in at least ten countries, Samsung and Apple seem to feel weary and exhausted as the consumers follow their story. If Samsung is serious about its offer for a cross licensing deal with Apple, it may somehow reduce the friction between the two giant companies and may somehow allow them more freedom to design new products under each other’s patents without instigating a lawsuit on patent infringement.