Samsung seeks copy of Apple’s HTC settlement

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Samsung seeks copy of Apple’s HTC settlement

Samsung Electronics asked a court to force Apple to turn over a copy of its settlement with HTC, saying it’s “highly relevant” to Apple’s request for an order blocking sales of Samsung smartphones.

It’s “almost certain” that Apple’s settlement with HTC covers some of the patents at issue in its dispute with Samsung, according to a filing on Friday by Seoul-based company in federal court in San Jose, California. The agreement may undermine Apple’s claim that Samsung’s patent infringement can’t be resolved with license payments, according to the filing.

“Apple’s apparent willingness to license these patents supports Samsung’s argument that Apple cannot show irreparable harm because monetary damages are adequate,” Samsung said in the filing.

Apple won a $1.05 billion patent-infringement verdict in August in a jury trial against Samsung in San Jose. U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh scheduled a December hearing to consider Apple’s request for a permanent U.S. sales ban on eight Samsung smartphone models and the Tab 10.1 tablet computer. She will also consider Samsung’s bid to get the verdict thrown out based on claims of juror misconduct.

Apple, which had accused HTC of copying features that made its iPhone unique, on Nov. 10 settled all global lawsuits with HTC and agreed to a 10-year licensing deal, signaling a new willingness to resolve patent disputes without resorting to the “thermonuclear war” stance favored by co-founder Steve Jobs.

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment on Samsung’s filing.

Meanwhile, Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit are talking about a way to resolve part of their dispute over patents related to critical smartphone technology, according to a court filing.

The companies have been exchanging proposals on using binding arbitration to reach a licensing agreement over patents that are essential to comply with industry standards on how phones operate. Such an agreement could lead to a global settlement of all of their patent disputes, Apple said in a Thursday filing.

“Apple is also interested in resolving its dispute with Motorola completely and agrees that arbitration may be the best vehicle to resolve the parties’ dispute,” Apple said in the filing.

Motorola Mobility first raised the issue of arbitration on Nov. 5, before a federal judge in Madison, Wisconsin, threw out a breach-of-contract case that Apple had filed. The Cupertino, California-based maker of the iPhone claimed its mobile-phone competitor was misusing standard-essential patents to demand unreasonable royalties.

“We have long sought a path to resolving patent issues and we welcome the chance to build on the constructive dialogue between our companies,” Google General Counsel Kent Walker said in a Nov. 13 letter to Apple that was filed with the court.

“While we prefer to seek a framework for a global [rather than piecemeal] resolution that addresses all of our patent disputes, we are committed to reaching agreement on a license for our respective standard-essential patents.”

Bloomberg

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