Apple and Samsung: is an amicable split possible?

As their legal battle winds down, it is clear that the giants have common interests – could they co-operate against Google?It was the late Steve Jobs’s worst nightmare.A powerful Asian manufacturer, Samsung, uses Google’s Android software to create smartphones and tablets that closely resemble the iPhone and the iPad. Samsung starts gaining market share, hurting Apple’s margins and stock price and threatening its reign as the king of cool in consumer electronics.Jobs, of course, had an answer to all this: a “thermonuclear” legal war that would keep clones off the market. Yet nearly two years after Apple first filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung, and six months after it won a huge legal victory over its South Korean rival, Apple’s chances of blocking the sale of Samsung products are growing dimmer by the day.Indeed, a series of recent court rulings suggests that the smartphone patent wars are now grinding toward a stalemate, with Apple unable to show that its sales have been seriously damaged when rivals, notably Samsung, imitated its products.

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