One of the reasons Apple took Samsung to court more than two years ago was because the latter had made their smartphones and tablets resemble the iPhone and iPad so much that it was hard not to take note of the similarities. While no one would mistake a Galaxy Tab for an iPad, it was clear that Apple didn’t like how Samsung was making a huge profit by taking design ideas from its supply partner, and now major competitor.
According to Foss Patents, in order to have an amicable settlement in the U.S. patent lawsuit trial, Apple will require Samsung to agree to an anti-cloning provision that would allow the former to sue the latter if their products resemble iPhones or iPads to closely.
Samsung and Apple are currently negotiating a settlement and flushing out royalty payments due to a court-ordered agreement that requires both companies to pare down their patent infringement claims before going back to U.S. court on March 31.
Foss Patents noted that HTC was talked into agreeing to the anti-cloning provision, and Samsung has been asked to do the same. Apple Vice President and Chief Intelletual Property Councel BJ Waltrous submitted a sworn declaration to the U.S. Court for the Northern District of California that Apple’s discussions with Samsung have consistently included “limits to both the scope of any license and a prohibition against cloning Apple products.”
One of the issues that Apple and Samsung are fighting over is the “pinch-to-zoom” feature (patent 915) that is so popular in touch screen devices. Apple won a lawsuit against Samsung over the feature. However, Samsung subsequently asked the U.S. Patent Office to reexamine the validity of the patent. Apple requested an injunction on Samsung’s ability to sell infringing devices. Samsung claims to have redesigned their software so that it does not infringe on Apple’s patent. Apple’s response: “If Samsung is confident that its design-arounds do not infringe the ‘915 patent, then enforcement of the injunction poses no threat to Samsung.”