Apple and Samsung Neared a Settlement in February
Apple and Samsung have been holding a series of private negotiations about their patent disputes, according to the WSJ.
The companies held face-to-face meetings in Seoul, South Korea in December and apparently came close to an agreement in February. The details come from a 161-page ITC document which explains its June 4th ruling that imposed a ban on certain Apple devices for violating Samsung patents. Unfortunately, the exact settlement terms discussed are redacted.
It states that Apple made a settlement offer to Samsung in September, shortly after its win in the California trial. But the most serious of talks appear to have taken place between December and March, according to the document. The two met for rounds of face-to-face negotiations in mid-January, but the companies couldn't come to an agreement. The reasons are redacted in the ITC document.
The two companies again agreed to meet in person in February, the document states. On Feb. 7, representatives for the two companies drafted a "memorandum of understanding," suggesting a potential settlement, which was brought to more senior leaders at the companies.
The terms of the Memorandum of Understanding are redacted; however, there is no indication that they were approved by Apple or Samsung executives. Talks continued until March but seem to have broken down after that. On March 22, Samsung asked to reopen negotiations; however, Apple hadn't responded by the time the ITC made its decision.
Notably, the ITC said "The fact that representatives for both parties were able to reach a memorandum of understanding indicates Samsung is negotiating in good faith and, to be colloquial, is playing in the same ballpark as Apple."
Apple argued that Samsung's royalty demands were not fair and reasonable; however, the ITC disagreed saying, "we cannot say that Samsung's offers in this regard are unreasonable."