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Meanwhile Samsung seeks to make a deal with Apple in Australia

In what could be a small sign that a cross-licensing (and potentially damages) settlement agreement could be at hand in the legal war [1][2][3][4] [5][6][7] between Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) and Apple, Inc. (AAPL), Apple revealed that is former chief executive had sought out Samsung to discuss a deal, before he initiated the legal war by filing a civil suit against Samsung in Northern California District Court.

I. Did Steve Jobs Try to Cut a Deal with Samsung?

The revelation came, according to international news service Bloomberg, in testimony by Richard Lutton, a senior director at Apple and the company's patent attorney, during a hearing in Australian court.  Apple is seeking to ban sales of Samsung's popular Galaxy 10.1 tablet in Australia, until a final trial decision is handed down in its Australian federal lawsuit against Samsung.  

Samsung has agreed to temporarily delay the release of the tablet in Australia, allowing for the Australian judge to decide whether or not to agree to Apple's request of issuing a preliminary injunction banning Samsung's tablet sales.  The decision was supposed to occur this week.

In testimony, Mr. Lutton painted Apple as the victim, rather than the aggressor in the patent war.  He claims that Apple co-founder and chief executive Steven P. Jobs approached Samsung in July 2010 to try to negotiate with the company.  It is unclear what exactly Apple suggested.  One possibility is that it asked Samsung to stay out of the tablet market -- which would be very unfavorable for Samsung to agree to.  Alternatively, it could have wanted payment for a cross-licensing deal, similar to the deal Samsung recently inked with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

Steve Jobs cackling
Steven P. Jobs [Source: AP Photo]

Whatever Mr. Jobs' proposal was, Samsung decided it to be too adversive.  Negotiations between the firms, which Mr. Lutton says did not involve Mr. Jobs (who is facing a health crisis) fell apart shortly thereafter.  Samsung would go on to launch its first tablet -- the Galaxy Tab (7-inch) in September.  The rest, as they say, is history and Samsung and Apple reached their current state of suing each other in at least 23 federal courts or trade agencies in at least 10 countries.

Mr. Lutton did have some kind words for Samsung commenting, "Samsung is an important supplier with whom we have a deep relationship."

Bloomberg says its research data indicates that Samsung is Apple's second largest supplier and that Apple is Samsung's largest electronics component client.

II. Samsung Proposes a Truce

In related news, Samsung's legal chief David Catterns has reportedly proposed a cross-licensing agreement in Australia, which would put the companies' legal conflict behind them -- in one country at least.  The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

The news came shortly after Apple dropped two of patents from the case, patents that it initially planned to pursue infringement claims on.  During the initial filing of the case Apple had claimed Samsung infringed on ten of its patents, then in a later filing it broadened that to a whopping thirteen patents.  But in later court filings, its lead barrister Stephen Burley reduced the number Apple intended to enforce to five.  

In other words Apple may still contend Samsung violates those other patents, it's just not expending resources trying to sue to assert them in court.  This is probably because it thinks they're comprised of weaker claims, which risk being invalidated in court.

Now that number has been cut again.  Apple excluded for unknown reason its patent on touch screen unlocking via a swipe gesture (patent AU 2008100011).  And it also excluded its patent on a bouncing animation when zooming in on a document or icon (patent AU 2009208103, as Samsung agreed to remove this feature from its Australian tablets.

Now only three touch-related patents -- a patent on the manufacturing of a capacitive touch screen used in the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 (patent AU 2005246219), a patent covering selective rejection of inadvertent finger movements on a touch screen (patent AU 2008258177), and a heuristics patent used to correct a user's finger movements when scrolling vertically on a screen (patent AU 2007286532).

Galaxy Tab 10.1, in hand
Apple has reduced its claims against Samsung from 13 to 3. [Source: Android Community]

Apparently Samsung wants to cross-license those patents.  In exchange it will drop its claims agaisnt Apple regarding various wireless patents it owns, which it says Apple's i-devices violate.  The terms of the cross-licensing proposal have not been revealed, so it's unclear whether Samsung would be seeking any additional payments from Apple, or vice-versa as part of the arrangement.

Apple lawyer Steven Burley reportedly said in court that his company would consider the proposal.  Apple will have a bit of time to think it over.  The sides failed to conclude their arguments on time today so the Judge did not rule on whether a preliminary injunction would be issued.  The hearing is set to resume on Oct. 4, after a public holiday in New South Wales.

Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett commented, "I can't promise when I’ll make a decision.  I will try to get it out as soon as possible."

A cross-licensing agreement could be a signal of the beginning of an international peacemaking process between Samsung and Apple.  That could allow Apple to retain Samsung as its primary supplier of low-cost, high-quality NAND flash storage.  In recent reports Apple was rumored to be considering a switch to other suppliers, but was expected to take a price, and possibly quality, hit if it did so.

Sources: Bloomberg ("Steve Jobs Started Talks With Samsung ..."), Bloomberg ("Samsung Electronics Gives Apple Proposal...")

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RE: meta
By adiposity on 9/30/2011 7:20:36 PM , Rating: 2
He's clearly an amateur with Photoshop, he doesn't seem to understand transparency and smoothing, really.

I'm sure as he gets better, he will make a better logo.

RE: meta
By JasonMick on 9/30/2011 7:25:11 PM , Rating: 2
He's clearly an amateur with Photoshop, he doesn't seem to understand transparency and smoothing, really.

Fair enough, but I'm using transparency on ALL my watermarked images!! :)

C'mon buddy, give me a tiny bit of credit here.

As for the smoothing, not sure quite what you mean... there's not much jaggy-ness to it. It's supposed to have a cartoonish look... that's what I was shooting for.

I probably will redesign it when I get bored sometime soon though, so your wish may come true.

RE: meta
By Boze on 9/30/2011 8:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
Nah... don't.

Its your style. Don't let anyone influence your style but you.

RE: meta
By someguy123 on 9/30/2011 11:27:17 PM , Rating: 3
Well, now if he doesn't do it he'll technically have been influenced by you.

RE: meta
By BugblatterIII on 9/30/2011 8:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot to add your logo to the one you did of Jobs conjuring a fireball to annihilate the infidels.

Ignore the haters; you've gone the extra mile to add a bit of humour but some people just can't resist the opportunity to brag about their mad photoshop skillz.

RE: meta
By torpor on 10/3/2011 2:00:40 AM , Rating: 2
I just want to say, I do appreciate the humor, just not the logo.

Keep on keepin' on, Mick; just improve the visual sig. :)

RE: meta
By nocturne_81 on 10/1/2011 2:01:26 AM , Rating: 2
Just a bit of a quirk... unless you took the original press image of Jobs, you are still required to acknowledge the work from which your work was derived from..

Photographers and journalists get paid ***t as it is.. It's already bad enough that their works of art (subjectively put) are branded only under the name of their employer.

RE: meta
By nocturne_81 on 10/1/2011 2:09:06 AM , Rating: 2
Also.. it does look like garbage.. almost hurts to look at it..

A little copyright watermark is much more appropriate and professional.

Anyways, I enjoyed the article as a whole. Much more objective than the usual.. Though, I don't see why the Samsung booth image is necessary (not that I mind the cute girls..).

RE: meta
By adiposity on 10/3/2011 12:40:34 AM , Rating: 2
Fair enough, but I'm using transparency on ALL my watermarked images!! :)

C'mon buddy, give me a tiny bit of credit here.

As for the smoothing, not sure quite what you mean... there's not much jaggy-ness to it. It's supposed to have a cartoonish look... that's what I was shooting for

Well, actually when I referred to smoothing I was talking about some of your other images (text overlayed on Larry Ellison, for example), not the logo. I am not a graphic artist but I have been using Photoshop for about 15 years now. Personally I would consider myself an amateur, compared to my graphic artist friends.

There's nothing specifically wrong with your logo, although I personally don't care for it. What I meant was, as you spend more time on Photoshop, I have no doubt that you will look back at this logo and consider changing it.

If I had to identify what I don't like about it, it's a little hard to "read" if that makes sense. I don't know if I saw it elsewhere if it would be easily recognizable.

RE: meta
By TakinYourPoints on 10/3/2011 2:57:27 AM , Rating: 3
He's clearly an amateur with Photoshop, he doesn't seem to understand transparency and smoothing, really.

The problems are much bigger picture than just simple technical things. Someone who walks away from that and says "yup, I'm going to use it" either has very low personal standards or no taste.

RE: meta
By adiposity on 10/3/2011 1:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
True, but he probably doesn't have the technical expertise to do better, yet.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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