In my latest SLAW column, I argue that the worldwide patent litigation between Apple Corporation and Samsung Electronics is a perfect illustration of the “lose-lose” nature of high-stakes IP litigation. While the headlines have focused on the $1 billion U.S. jury award Apple won at the end of August, in the long run Apple may turn out to have been a big loser in this struggle as well. Apple and Samsung are long-time business partners. Samsung holds many patents on touch screen technology. It supplied screens for the iPod and iPhone. Samsung still makes the touch screen for Apple’s iPad tablet computers. It won the contract earlier this year, despite the smartphone litigation, when other companies were unable to meet Apple’s technical requirements for larger screens. Samsung also makes the chips that power the iPhone and iPad. For the past several years, the two companies have also been tied up in IP litigation in the US, Korea, Japan, Europe, the UK and Australia. Each of them has sought injunctions to block sales of the other’s products. Although the latest US decision appears to be a big win for Apple, many have complained that it is a serious loss for consumers. And the fight isn’t over yet. Samsung has announced that it plans to file new complaints over features of the iPhone 5. The Apple/Samsung litigation is widely seen as a proxy for a much bigger fight between Apple and Google. Google’s Motorola unit filed a new lawsuit against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission in a bit to stop Apple from importing the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and other products to the United States. In August Google CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook were reported have held at least one direct conversation and plan to talk again in a bid to settle these and other patent disputes. This is an indication that all of the players may be starting to suffer from some litigation fatigue. Expect to see more attempts at mediation over the coming months.