Tomahawk, WI 01/10/2014 (BasicsMedia) – Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) knows the importance of protecting its Intellectual Property (IP). In fact, any company engaged in developing an innovative offering will understand the importance. Legal issues are bound to crop up as other companies also vie to launch similar products.

The Apple-Samsung Saga

Both Apple and Samsung Electronics are engaged in a fierce battle for dominance in the smartphone segment. One of the hottest and rapidly growing segments, this segment also thrives on innovation. In fact, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) can be credited with upgrading the very ordinary cell-phone to a smart-phone and disrupting an entire industry. The original king of the industry Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) had to relinquish its crown and both Apple and Samsung raced ahead.

This race and the fierce competition also lead to several patent wars between them. In fact, both companies have used these legal battles to restrict the competitors from lucrative markets but they have not achieved a high degree of success. Apple, though, has succeeded in monetary terms; it has won approximately $930 million in damages from two cases in California courts. And according to reports, has also spent $60 million till December, 2013 fighting against Samsung.  The legal costs of such litigation will be very substantial if we take the indirect costs into consideration.

Why No Mediation?

Well, reports indicate that CEOs of both the companies have agreed on a meeting to resolve the pending legal cases. They are scheduled to meet on or before February 19, the deadline is crucial, otherwise the case will go to the courts.  Apple CEO, Tim Cook and his Samsung counterpart, Oh-Hyun Kwon will be sitting down with in-house lawyers only and try to work out an amicable solution. Past experience shows that such parleys do not give positive outcome.  The respective CEOs have met twice before, once in 2012 and last year to resolve the patent infringement issues. Both have ended in failure. Maybe keeping this in view, spokespersons from both sides have refused to comment on the proposed talks.

Both the companies are focused on bringing out several innovations in smartphones as well as other lines of business. They are also among the biggest contributors of patent filings worldwide. Apart from each other, they also have to fight with several individuals and companies who may have developed similar methods and processes. In fact the so called ‘patent trolls’ are a big headache particularly in the IT sector. Patent Troll refers to a company or an individual who has registered a patent but has not taken any steps to commercialize it. They wait for some company to do so and then fight them in the courts to demand their pound of flesh. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had to face them several times in the past.

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