Apple, Samsung to settle patent disputes out of court: reports

Apple and Samsung, long locked in a series of legal disputes are reportedly in the process of moving towards burying their differences out of court.

The two rivals had recently "resumed working-level discussions" as they seek to find ways to  dismiss all lawsuits,  The Korea Times reported, which cited people directly involved with the matter.

Apple and Samsung faced off in another court battle earlier this month with the jury delivering a mixed verdict.

The eight-person jury ruled that Samsung violated three of Apple's five patents at issue and was ordered to pay $119.6 million much less than the $2.2 billion sought by the iPhone maker (See:California jury awards Apple $119 mn in patent suit against Samsung), but Apple too was found to have infringed a Samsung patent and was ordered to pay $158,400, a far cry from Samsung's $6.2 million request.

The mixed verdict seems to have made it easier for the two to resume talks of settlement, according to The Korea Times sources. However, miracles are not expected to happen right away.

"Some more time will be needed to fix terms of details such as royalty payments in return for using patents owned by each before reaching a full agreement," the Times added.

Last week saw Apple and Google's Motorola finally agree to work together ''in some areas of patent reform'', with the two companies dismissing all patent-infringement claims against each other (Apple, Google agree to end patent wars).

Meanwhile, according to the sources, royalty payments for the patents in question would be the likely remedy for both companies ''before reaching a full agreement.''

Meanwhile, with the easing of tensions between the two, hopes have swelled in some quarters that the all out patent war in the smartphone realm could soon be over.

However, all earlier negotiations between Apple and Samsung had failed in the past, and therefore high hopes of a reconciliation might be premature at this stage, say commentators.