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Wednesday, 06 August 2014 13:33

Apple and Samsung declare patent truce

Written by Nick Farrell



Until one of them starts firing rockets

Apple and Samsung are getting bored with the thermonuclear war started by Steve Jobs. Jobs was furious with Samsung when he saw that they were daring to use the rounded rectangle, which has been around since the invention of geometry. He was also cross that Samsung was using his pinch to click, which was first touted by Myron Krueger in the 1980s and developed by Dean Rubine, of Carnegie Mellon University, Sun Microsystems, Bruce Tognazinni and Fingerworks in the 1990s and Jeff Han in 2006. 

Samsung would have had a lot of sympathy had it not scored an own goal by trying to hit Apple with patents which were part of standards. While Apple won cases in front of American juries with foreman’s who happened to have a patent beef with Samsung, it was mostly stalemate throughout the world. The pair have agreed to abandon all their patent suits other than the ones in the US.

Samsung Electronics said that it and Apple would continue to pursue existing cases in US courts. The two companies had not struck any cross-licensing deal. However it is widely seen as lessening of corporate hostilities between the two companies which really did not help anyone.

A win in the US will mean bigger awards for damages than other countries, but really it does not matter. Most of the products being dealt with are sold and out-of-date by the time the trademark dispute is settled. It is likely that in the end both sides will sign some cross licencing dispute and stop fighting over whether a dead man was correct in his assumption that he really invented everything.

Nick Farrell

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