Steve Jobs initiated contact with Samsung to stave off legal standoff

Tue, Oct 11, 2011

Legal, News

During Apple’s earnings conference call from last April, Tim Cook, who was then Apple’s COO and acting CEO, addressed a question regarding Apple’s then fresh lawsuit against Samsung wherein it alleged the Korean-based electronics giant of copying the look and feel of its iOS devices.

Despite considering Samsung a valuable partner in many respects, Cook explained the impetus behind the lawsuit.

”We felt the mobile communication division of Samsung had crossed the line,” Cook said, “and after trying for some time to work out the issue, we decided we needed to rely on the courts.”

At the time, it was interesting to note that Apple hadn’t opted to sue first and ask questions later but rathe sought to achieve an amicable resolution without resorting to the court system.

Now, nearly 6 months later, we have more information as to what steps Apple took to avoid a legal battle that has since mushroomed out of control and spans over 12 countries across four different continents.

According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Steve Jobs himself stepped into the fray back in July of 2010 hoping to convince Samsung to top ripping off design elements from Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Doing the quick math, this was a full 8 months before Apple finally initiated its legal suit against Samsung.

Once those talks fell through, former Apple attorney Richard Lutton explained during a recent court proceeding in Australia, Jobs was no longer involved in the proceedings.

“Samsung is an important supplier with whom we have a deep relationship,” Lutton testified in response to questioning by Samsung lawyer David Catterns. “We wanted to give them a chance to do the right thing.”

And so, once the power of persuasion possessed by Jobs fell through, Apple was left with no other option but to sue.

Lutton’s testimony occurred two weeks ago during a hearing in Australia centering on Apple’s efforts to preclude Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until a trial on the matter is held. Not too long ago, Samsung reportedly made an offer to Apple that would allow the company to sell the Galaxy Tab by making adjustments to the Android OS. Apple subsequently rejected the offer.


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