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Apple, Samsung end patent battles outside U.S.

Following untold numbers of lawsuits, injunction requests, court petitions, and billed legal hours, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) have agreed to drop all suits against each other in Germany, the U.K., Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, France, South Korea, and Italy. The deal doesn't involve any licensing agreement.

For now, the world's biggest smartphone and tablet OEMs remain at odds in the U.S., but there are signs that battle is also winding down. In June, Apple and Samsung dropped their appeals of an ITC case that led to an injunction on older Samsung phones. The prior month, a CA jury awarded Apple $120M in an infringement suit against Samsung, much less than the $2B it sought.

Apple settled its patent dispute with Motorola Mobility in May in a deal that didn't feature a cross-license, and agreed to work with Google on "some areas of patent reform."  A cross-licensing deal with HTC was struck in 2012.

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Comments (17)
  • Sacto_Joe
    , contributor
    Comments (262) | Send Message
    So now that Samsung is having its head handed to it on just about every level, they want to make nice. Interesting.
    5 Aug 2014, 11:04 PM Reply Like
  • jpintoctr
    , contributor
    Comments (591) | Send Message
    After abysmal phone sales numbers from Samsung this quarter and the challenge to move out from Android or became a commoditised Smartphone brand, the Korean company seem to recognise the mistake of trying to copy Apple, a major client for its components.


    Now Samsung should look for viable alternatives to avoid cheap Android market, probably develop Tizen, even if it will be tough. Also they need to improve the quality of their smartphones including Galaxy.


    Settling with Apple make sense to adopt a new strategy. Solve its conflicting ties with Google which have been so costly. HTC went the same rout, which included settling with Apple and now is partnering with Microsoft which seem a better option to Android..
    5 Aug 2014, 11:06 PM Reply Like
  • David at Imperial Beach
    , contributor
    Comments (4363) | Send Message
    On the contrary, Samsung will find it even tougher going by rejecting the Android ecosystem and trying to go it alone with Tizen. If major players like Samsung and Amazon don't support Android, it's even harder to build critical mass enough to take Apple down.


    You should not view this as Samsung caving in to Apple. Nothing could be further from the truth. Apple has been settling with other companies as well. It's finally recognizing that playing out patent battles in court is a futile endeavor. The lawyer's bills eat up any financial advantage they might possibly gain, and they end up looking like bullies who aren't innovating fast enough, especially when compared to Tesla who open sources their patents in the meantime.
    5 Aug 2014, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • Zipper0
    , contributor
    Comments (1334) | Send Message
    The Android OS itself, like the Windows OS before it, is the gateway to profitless, undifferentiated commoditization because there's no differentiator except price among all the Android OEMs out there. As a result, Android OEMs have only razor-thin or no profit margins, so there are no funds for R&D and other innovation to keep up with Apple over the long-term as Apple enjoys all the profits to pull ahead further from the profitless commoditized Android pack.


    Canaccord Genuity just said today Apple has increased its profit share of all smartphone profits to 68% while Samsung's has fallen to 40% (vs. Apple's 56% and Samsung's 53% last summer), and all the other Android OEMs on earth are losing money or just breaking even. How can anyone expect to stay on the cutting-edge of technology year-after-year like Apple does if they have no funds to drive further innovations and R&D?


    "Open" OS's like Android and Windows always end up commoditized because there's no differentiator except price among all the Android and Windows OEMs out there. It's a constant battle even for 1-2% margins, and component quality and overall quality eventually suffer in a race to the bottom to cut costs. Android's future is a dim one of neverending, relentless profitless commoditization and cheapening quality, as happened in the Windows PC industry.


    The iPhone 6 will also steal Samsung's heaviest-spending, richest Galaxy owners from Google Play and these highest-spending ecosystem customers will shift to Apple's App Store. The 80-20 rule says 80% of your business comes from the top 20% of your customers, and the iPhone 6 is going to decapitate Samsung of its top 20% customers who have most of the discretionary income in the Android world. Samsung's only hope was Tizen, but that will fail too just because it's hard to get any new mobile OS off the ground now.


    The Chinese Android OEMs are doing Apple the greatest favor by undercutting and destroying Apple's main competitor Samsung and, secondly, commoditizing themselves further everyday by continuing to use the commodity Android OS (the same mistake Samsung itself made) so that Apple can enjoy the high-end all to itself again just like in the pre-Samsung days. The inherent commoditizability of Android brought down Samsung, a feat which Apple couldn't achieve through its lawsuit, so the lawsuit is not really as important anymore. Android's self-destruction through commoditization is a more fascinating show to watch.
    5 Aug 2014, 11:51 PM Reply Like
  • imac007
    , contributor
    Comments (636) | Send Message
    There is no doubt that Samsung and Google had a divorce. For the sake of the kids, (legacy Samsung Android devices) they are putting on a civil public face. Samsung were backed into a corner by Google insisting on control of certain apps and functionality that were not included in the Android open sourcing. That level of control is cutting Samsung out of the main ecosystem revenue stream associated with Android. Google may have won the battle but lost the war.


    Tizen is the Samsung response. Samsung will look after Samsung and convert as much of their business to a Tizen based system of their own making. I read somewhere that the have the ability to install Android apps on the Tizen phones through their store app installation process. I doubt developers of Android apps are going to refuse to have a storefront prescence Samsung's Tizen universe if that is the case.


    Google are trying to get OEM'S to toe the line but they are being written out. Being part of the Google universe means being part of low margins. Trying to differentiate is their only hope. So making a profit becomes more important than making Google happy.


    Apple, Google, Xiaomi and Amazon realized early the importance of the eco-system. Samsung got derailed and is now trying to play catch up without a clearly defined platform commitment in the public's eye. Xiaomi and Amazon have forgone the hardware margins, instead they are looking at the device sale as the customer paying for the shopping cart. You can put lipstick on a shopping cart but it's still a shopping cart. Samsung are trying to figure out if they can get a cart that doesn't wobble and veer.
    6 Aug 2014, 12:40 AM Reply Like
  • Zipper0
    , contributor
    Comments (1334) | Send Message
    Xiaomi's ecosystem sales are not likely to be enough to support both future hardware improvements and improvements in Xiaomi's ecosystem itself. Hardware is capital-intensive, and even Apple can't really fund its capex from ecosystem sales alone. Because Apple earns money on both hardware and ecosystem, it has a significant advantage over Xiaomi and everyone else in improving both its hardware and ecosystem year after year. Also, Xiaomi appeals to people with lower discretionary income and such people are the least likely to spend a lot of money on Xiaomi's ecosystem, which Xiaomi ironically is depending on to fund both future hardware and ecosystem innovations.
    6 Aug 2014, 01:05 AM Reply Like
  • Hardog
    , contributor
    Comments (15354) | Send Message
    who knows maybe Congress will see this and get the idea.
    5 Aug 2014, 11:45 PM Reply Like
  • bjnflicks
    , contributor
    Comments (4335) | Send Message
    Samsung is a dishonest bunch of poseurs. So is Xiaomi. They have no quality software to come close to IOS. And they are both forced to cut prices now so it'[s doubtful either are making any profits in the cel phone business anymore. And to equate IOS and Android anymore is dishonest. There is a reason Microsoft is abandoning Windows, it is too damn difficult and expensive to compete with IOS and no one can. I am sick and tried of seeing phony market share arguments prop up the wildly overvalued GOOG and its Android. Android is fine for undemanding customers who don't care that much about the internet, but if you want to do it right, there is only one place to be, the super safe, super fast and delightfully amazing IOS.


    Apple is king. and IOS is the real reason. PLus a loot of others reasons as well. And expect Apple's advantage gap to wide not decrease going forward. They are already years ahead of any competition and have basiucally left them all in the dust. Plus it is very expensive to try and compete with Apple. MSFT, GOOG and Samsung all lost around 9 billion each in the last 18 months trying to. That is a loot of money for any company but Apple.
    6 Aug 2014, 12:52 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (3404) | Send Message
    Samsung is a multi national conglomerate that employs almost 250,000 people . From aerospace to electronics to the the world's 2nd-largest shipbuilder , Samsung Engineering and Samsung construction companies, life Insurance (the world's 14th-largest life insurance company), surveillance and defense they also own the world's 15th-largest advertising agency measured by 2012 revenues. They are headquartered in an area called Samsung town in Seoul. They'll make it. So will Apple. Lawyers might be a little depressed but hey thats life.
    6 Aug 2014, 01:14 AM Reply Like
  • Zipper0
    , contributor
    Comments (1334) | Send Message
    Samsung will die. Chinese are undercutting Korea not only on cell phones but cell phone components, TVs, ships, cars, steel, and petrochemicals. All of Korea's major export industries from which it gets over 50% of its GDP are getting smashed by up-and-coming China, and Korea has nothing to fall back on. This is the inevitable result when Koreans just copy Apple and others and don't have the creativity to develop anything unique and valuable of their own; Koreans are vulnerable to the Chinese, who are even more talented counterfeiters. Also, Korea's geographic area and population are just too small to sustain any healthy domestic market economy without significant exports. Your best bet is emigration, but it looks like you already took that step.
    7 Aug 2014, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • imac007
    , contributor
    Comments (636) | Send Message
    Apple's real issue with Samsung is that they have stolen the entry level youth. The iPod launched Apple and as new evolutions were released the old ones became welcome hand me downs. That connection has been broken as a parent's iPod maybe sat at home during the day, but Dad and Mom always keep the iphone/ipad close. Cheap Android devices allowed them to do enough that they went for them.


    I look at the M7 motion processor, the acquisition of PrimeSense, the evolution of AirPlay, the 64 bit mobile processor and a 64 bit OS to take advantage of it and think gaming is on Apple's mind. A right sized device with dockable controllers would convert it into a hybrid mobile/TV console platform. Just like the iPod, with cross-generational appeal, potential to be left at home, and the ultimate hand me down. A 1-2 punch that could truly send Samsung reeling.
    6 Aug 2014, 01:26 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (3404) | Send Message
    Which entry level youth. The Apple brand has always catered to the 1% crowd or the ones who want to look and feel like the 1%. Apple has always had a 90% loyalty rate with its base. Thats not going to change. With all that pent up demand for a bigger screen I expect that bigger screen will be a huge hit with that 90% who've been waiting and waiting for those models
    6 Aug 2014, 08:47 AM Reply Like
  • randiego2
    , contributor
    Comments (29) | Send Message
    I wouldn't be so sure... my 2-yr old is currently using my old iPhone 4 to watch PBS Kids and live zoo cams.
    6 Aug 2014, 02:35 AM Reply Like
  • mapodga
    , contributor
    Comments (4705) | Send Message


    Apple was just expelled from China government. And in China people like to follow government.



    This will inflict Apple revenue.
    6 Aug 2014, 05:08 AM Reply Like
  • gofx
    , contributor
    Comments (1488) | Send Message
    If only we could discuss these issues without national and brand pride weighing so heavily on the analysis (at times).
    6 Aug 2014, 05:58 AM Reply Like
  • Doctor Who
    , contributor
    Comments (450) | Send Message
    China is a country ruled by thugs. They protect themselves. I wonder what they do when an illegal crosses their border. We are a joke dealing with china and how they operate. The problem is leaving money on the table as very few companies are willing to do this.
    6 Aug 2014, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • cash
    , contributor
    Comments (546) | Send Message
    well... bunch of our corporate profits depend on China. They have the upper hand here and so they write the rules for their country. We have been writing rules in our favor for everyone in the world for a long time... China is just catching up
    6 Aug 2014, 09:39 AM Reply Like
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