A Friday-released Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report has revealed that, since summer last year, tech-market rivals Apple and Samsung have held a series of private negotiations about their patent scuffles.
According to the WSJ report, citing heavily redacted legal documents and unidentified sources familiar with the negotiations, face-to-face meetings between Apple and Samsung took place in Seoul in December 2012. The companies appeared to be close to working out a settlement - apparently a broad cross-licensing deal - of their patent disputes in February, but the negotiations somehow fizzled out.
The report claimed that though unnamed sources have revealed that settlement-related talks between Apple and Samsung are still ongoing, there is thus far no development on that front to indicate that the companies are nearing a settlement.
Apple and Samsung - together accounting for virtually all of the profit in the smartphone market - have been locked in legal spat since Apple filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung in 2011. The talks to resolve the patent issues commenced shortly after a jury handed Apple a $1.05 billion win last summer.
The WSJ's disclosure of ongoing settlement talks between Apple and Samsung are not surprising, especially since Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a last-year statement that he would "highly prefer" to settle patent litigation rather than fight such issues out in the courts.