FORTUNE — Apple
and Samsung may be close to a patent settlement, according to a report Monday by Kim Yoo-chul, the senior Samsung watcher at the Korea Times. Citing unnamed “people directly involved with the matter,” he writes that the two companies have recently begun talks to settle future patent disputes out of court.
“Samsung has recently resumed working-level discussions with Apple and the key issue is how to dismiss all lawsuits,” one source said, declining to be named.
The news comes three days after Apple and Google
agreed to drop the patent suits Google inherited when it acquired Motorola in 2012. If successful, the talks would mark the end of one of high-tech’s most contentious — and expensive — patent wars.
In 2012, a jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages for Samsung’s patent infringements — a record award that was later reduced to $930 million. A second trial last month yielded considerably smaller results: Apple won $120 million and was ordered to pay Samsung $158,000 for its own patent infringements.
“Things should come to an end during the summer,” FOSS Patents Florian Mueller told Kim. “Apple doesn’t have an endgame strategy. Its agreement with Google shows that its management is looking for a face-saving exit strategy from Steve Jobs’ thermonuclear ambitions that were based on a totally unrealistic assessment of the strength of Apple’s patent portfolio.”
LINK: Samsung resumes settlement talks with Apple