Apple and Samsung begin patent talks

Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Image caption The talks are an attempt to end the legal action between Apple and Samsung

Apple and Samsung are holding two days of talks that will try to find a way to end the many legal rows between the rivals.

Over the last year, the firms have clashed in courtrooms around the world over who invented or has to the right to use particular technologies.

The talks have been ordered by a US judge as a way to short-circuit the ongoing legal action.

If the talks fail a trial over the competing claims will start in July.

Big gap

In legal filings, Apple claims that Samsung has used many of its patented technologies in its smartphones and tablets without getting the proper licences or permissions.

Apple has sought injunctions and import bans in a bid to stop Samsung selling gadgets that use these patented technologies.

For its part, Samsung has asserted that Apple has violated patents that it holds on third generation (3G) mobile technologies, and has sought sales bans on the iPhone in many different countries.

As well as facing each other in the US, Apple and Samsung are also locked in legal action in South Korea, Australia and many European nations including Germany, France and the UK.

If the talks prove successful, it would probably mean the end of all the legal actions around the world.

In the past, Apple boss Tim Cook has said he dislikes legal action and prefers to settle disputes rather than sue.

However, Samsung's mobile boss JK Shin told the Reuters news agency before the talks started that the two firms were far from agreement.

"There is still a big gap in the patent war with Apple but we still have several negotiation options, including cross-licensing," Mr Shin said before boarding a flight to the US.

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