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Samsung, Apple dispute to drag on, expert says
Publication Date : 16-08-2013
The patent dispute between Samsung and Apple is most likely to drag on as neither side has been given a “definitive victory”, an expert on the issue said.
“The assumption is that in the background there are discussions between the companies seeking terms on which to settle their differences, likely through cross-marketing agreements, but so far neither company has been able to score a definitive victory that changes the stakes between them to give one side a definitive advantage over the other. As such, it is likely the dispute will continue for some time,” said Susan Ross, a trade lawyer with Mitchell Silberberg + Knupp LLP.
Ross has served as an expert witness before the International Trade Commission and has frequently represented clients before the ITC and Customs.
Her comments reflect those of others who believe the settlement talks between the two sides will not resume soon, at least not until Samsung gains more ammunition against the Cupertino-based company that has benefited from decisions made by the US president and ITC.
“The timing may not be the best right now to resume the deal, since Apple has just been given a great bargaining chip from President Obama and the ITC. The talks may happen after Samsung appeals once the ITC ruling is finalised in October,” said one industry watcher close to the matter who declined to be identified.
There recently had been reports that the two sides broke off discussions just ahead of a compromise due to “unreasonable demands” issued by Apple.
Over the weekend, Samsung was up in arms following an ITC ruling to ban the imports of some of its devices including the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
As Samsung itself has suggested, the South Korean tech giant is likely to appeal, Ross said, for it will have to deal with the consequences of not being able to fill customer orders if it doesn’t.
Apple, meanwhile, received another leg up the week before when President Obama exercised his veto to prevent the ITC from slapping an import ban on older Apple devices, such as the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.
Obama’s justification for the decision had been that standard essential patents should not be limited when they were offered based on FRAND standards, such as Samsung did to Apple - meaning the technology was offered voluntarily based on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms.
Since the ban on Samsung products does not involve such technology, Ross saw it unlikely for Obama to issue another veto.
The ITC’s import ban becomes final on October 8 in the US.