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Notions of an Apple/Samsung settlement appear entirely premature

A Korea Times report earlier this week relayed that Apple and Samsung recently re-opened settlement talks in the hopes of putting their 3+ year long litigation battle behind them.

Samsung has recently resumed working-level discussions with Apple and the key issue is how to dismiss all lawsuits," one source said, declining to be named.

Ostensibly, the report seemed encouraging, especially in the wake of Apple's recent patent settlement deal with Google. What's more, we do know that Apple and Samsung are prone to engage in high level settlement negotiations from time to time, even if they happen to be court mandated.

But a recently filed court document (unearthed by The Verge) from both Samsung and Apple suggests that reaching a settlement deal anytime soon isn't likely to come soon.

In a joint statement filed on Monday, Apple questions just how serious and genuine Samsung is about stopping its use of Apple's protected IP and really reaching a settlement deal. In particular, Apple pointed to hyperbolic statements made by lead Samsung attorney John Quinn in the wake of Apple's recent legal victory.

"This is Apple's Vietnam, and people are sick of it." And, in what hardly presages a fruitful return to mediation, Mr. Quinn remarked: "It's kind of hard to talk settlement with a jihadist."

Further, Apple cites the recent Vanity Fair feature on Samsung in order to point out that Samsung's business model "prohibits early or even timely resolution of any dispute involving intellectual property infringement."

Apple also expressed concern that Samsung seemingly wants to use Apple's willingness to engage in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a negotiation point in future infringement proceedings and royalty negotiations.

Of course, Apple isn't the only party casting accusations here as Samsung also has its own view on things. Samsung is quick to dismiss the Apple-proffered notion that they aren't genuine about reaching a settlement.

Samsung's portion of the statement reads:

Apple seeks to condition further ADR on Samsung's agreement that "Samsung will not use Apple's participation in ADR to resist an injunction or reduce a royalty." Importantly, if Apple were truly interested in global resolution of all cases between the parties, this condition precedent to ADR would be a non-issue. Regardless, Apple's condition is improper.

...

By contrast, Samsung does not condition its willingness to participate in ADR on anything even though Apple has repeatedly used its pre-litigation meetings with Samsung during trial to support its arguments.

As for Apple citing inflammatory comments from Samsung lead counsel John Quinn, Samsung intimates that the comments are wholly irrelevant and "have little, if anything, to do with Samsung's willingness to discuss settlement."

Samsung also adds that "only Apple seeks to impose an obstacle to this resolution through a unilateral condition precedent to further ADR."

Looking forward, it's hard to see these two companies reaching an agreement anytime soon.

For an alternative point of view, Florian Mueller last week articulated why he believes an Apple/Samsung settlement "is now more likely than ever."

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