Everyone who’s sick and tired of smartphone patent lawsuits can rejoice: We may finally, at long last, be nearing the end of one of the biggest. An unnamed high-level Samsung executive tells The Korea Times that “working-level discussions” with Apple on a patent licensing agreement “are now underway,” which is the firmest indication we’ve seen yet that the two smartphone giants may be getting ready to strike a deal. What’s more, a source at Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning tells The Korea Times that the two companies are closer than ever to reaching a deal and have started “softening their positions on some contentious issues.” A jury in California recently awarded Apple an additional $290 million in its patent suit against Samsung, which may have been enough to convince Samsung that it needed to reach a settlement with Apple just to put an end to the persistent threat of litigation.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.