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Analyst: Cross-Licensing Will Be the Conclusion to Apple v. Samsung Trial

Whatever the verdict in the 'tech trial of the century,' the outcome will be a settlement, analyst predicts.

The verdict in the patent infringement trial between Samsung and Apple is now in the hands of the jury in the case, but whatever that verdict turns out to be, the ultimate resolution of the conflicts between the companies will be a cross-licensing agreement with a negligible exchange of cash.

That's the verdict in an analysis released Wednesday by Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry.

"Whatever may be the jury verdict, the most probable outcome will be a protracted negotiated settlement on cross licensing with all the parties involved namely: Apple, Samsung, and Google, with little or no money changing hands," Chowdhry wrote.

The Logic Involved

Chowdhry based his opinion on an analysis of the patent portfolios held by Apple, Samsung, and Google.

If the jury finds in favor of Apple, he reasoned, Samsung will use its 64,976 mobile patents to force Apple to settle the case as it winds its way through the appeals process.

If Samsung wins the case, Apple will use its 8991 patents to force a settlement from the South Korean company, he added.

Meanwhile, Chowdhry said, Google will use its 14,770 mobile patents to defend its OEM partners, which includes Samsung.

Each player's strong portfolio of patents in the mobile space makes a negotiated settlement the most probably outcome, he said.

While Samsung and Apple have made attempts in the past to settle their differences, those efforts have failed. During the trial, it was revealed that Apple offered to cross-license some of its intellectual property to Samsung in 2010, but the South Korean company found the proposal unacceptable. A similar deal was later struck between Apple and Microsoft.

The Judge's Wishes

The federal district court judge in the trial, Lucy Koh, also has tried, without much luck, to get the companies to settle their differences. In May, she forced Apple CEO Tim Cook and then-Samsung Major Domo Gee-Sung Choi to attend two days of negotiating sessions before the trial began. No agreements resulted from those meetings.

Judge Kohn tried again to get the companies to iron out their differences as the trial drew to a close last week. "It's time for peace," she told the companies. That plea was ignored by the companies, and the trial continued.

Nevertheless, there are signs that the companies are talking to each other. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the new CEO of Samsung, Kwon Oh Hyan, would talk to Tim Cook before the case was sent to the jury. Apparently, nothing was settled in those negotiations, as the case is now before the seven men and two women who will hand down a verdict in the case.

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

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