Ahead of a a July 30 court date that will pit Apple and Samsung against each other, in what may be the Patent Trial of the Century, the two smartphone giants have been ordered to negotiate a settlement out of court. As CNN reports, Apple has gone to great lengths to ensure that no such settlement is possible, with an exorbitant list of demands, and a trivially small valuation of Samsung’s patents.
CNN says that Apple wants a total of over $2.5 billion from Samsung ($500 million in lost profits, $25 million in royalty damages, and $2 billion for the profits Samsung “unjustly received” using Apple’s intellectual property.) They’re also after significant royalties on sales of future Samsung devices, to pay for the use of the Apple patents they claims Samsung is using. In total, Apple thinks they’re entitled to over $30 per device, which is likely more than Samsung even makes off a single unit of many of their devices. The breakdown of what Apple wants for their patents is as follows:
- $2.02 for the “overscroll bounce” (or “rubber-banding”) ‘318 patent
- $3.10 for the “scrolling API” ‘915 patent
- $2.02 for the “tap to zoom and navigate” ‘163 patent
- $24 for use of any of Apple’s design patents or trade dress rights
In return, for the use of Samsung’s patents in Apple devices, Apple has offered Samsung…half a cent. While demanding over $30 in patent royalties per Samsung device, Apple is only willing to pay $0.05 in patent royalties to Samsung per Apple device.
The chances of these two companies reaching an out-of-court settlement is practically zero, if this is the sort of demands Apple is making. They’ve got a few days left before the trial begins in earnest next Monday. Many long-disputed aspects of patent law will be brought to the table in this case, and the ruling made therein could have lasting effects on the American patent system as we know it.
As consumers, we better be crossing our fingers and hoping that the U.S. court decides to throw out some of the more overly broad patents that will be under fire in this case. Regardless of where your allegiances lie in the ongoing battle between smartphone makers, it’s in the best interest of innovation and competitiveness for software patents and overly broad design patents to get thrown out the window.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on these proceedings come Monday.