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Apple insists on anti-cloning provision in Samsung settlement

CNET Steven Musil 2014-01-21 17:59:29 


Apple demands that any potential patent litigation settlement with Samsung include an anti-cloning provision, according to a recent court filing.

The smartphone giants are in settlement negotiations in an attempt to head off another round of patent litigation, which is scheduled to go to trial in March.

Apple's "discussions with Samsung have consistently included limits to both the scope of any license and a prohibition against cloning Apple products," B.J. Watrous, Apple's chief intellectual property counsel, said in a filing late last week with the US District Court for Northern California. Such a provision would prohibit future Samsung products from copying the design of Apple's handsets.

In its filing, which was first spotted by Foss Patents ' Florian Mueller, Apple also disputes a Samsung assertion that the iPhone maker offered a settlement that lacked such a patent.

"Every offer Apple made to Samsung has included limits to both the scope of any license and a prohibition against cloning Apple products," Watrous wrote.

Apple goes on to accuse Samsung of trying to stall resolution of its request for a permanent injunction related to its 2012 patent trial win.

"Samsung persists in its strategy of delay-seeking to extend the briefing schedule for Apple's renewed motion, belatedly moving for discovery relating to Apple's negotiations with Samsung, requesting an evidentiary hearing even though the record is already fully developed, and asking the Court to stay enforcement of any injunction with respect to the '915 patent," Apple said in its filing.

CNET has contacted Samsung for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

In response to a federal judge's order that the two companies hold settlement talks, the chief executives of the two companies have agreed to meet with a mediator to try to resolve some of the companies' ongoing patent disputes. The mediation is scheduled to take place by February 19, but previous attempts by the two chiefs to iron out their legal issues have not resulted in a settlement.