Apple and Samsung are back in court this week, where Judge Lucy Koh can review the $1 billion worth of damages awarded to Apple in the year’s biggest tech trial, which came to its conclusion in August. The discussions have been wide-ranging, coming to a head yesterday when after three hours on the subject of the payment — which Samsung believes in excessive and Apple considers too low — Judge Koh asked “When is this case going to resolve?”
According to the Financial Times, the question was met with giggles from the courtroom gallery, however Judge Koh said “I’m not joking…I’ve said this all along, I think it’s time for global peace.” She said the court was willing to “facilitate some sort of resolution” and that an agreement would “be good for consumers and good for the industry.”
Following HTC’s recent settlement with Apple, where a mutual agreement was reached regarding patents, Samsung made it very clear it had no intention of negotiating with Apple in the same way. However, Samsung’s legal counsel is quoted as saying the company was “willing to talk” with Apple, but extended no formal invitation, preferring to leave it down to Apple to agree by saying “The ball is in their court.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the impression the company had already tried to reason with Samsung, saying in an interview with Bloomberg this week “We tried every other avenue,” before heading to court “after lots of trying.” Samsung has said almost exactly the same thing in the past: “We initially proposed to negotiate with Apple instead of going to court,” the company wrote in a press release following the trial’s conclusion in the summer, “However Apple pressed on with a lawsuit and we have had little choice but to counter-sue to protect our company.”
At this stage, then, it doesn’t look like Judge Koh will get her wish, as Apple is certain to view Samsung’s half-hearted willingness to talk as too little too late — it has won once, after all — and is instead pushing for higher damages, saying the current $1 billion figure is a “slap on the wrist” and a more serious amount would help “establish a line” in and presumably, out of the courtroom.