As the patent infringement court battle between tech giants Apple and Samsung draws to a close in California following three weeks of arguments and testimony, presiding judge Lucy Koh has come up with a rather novel idea: she’s told the two companies to talk on the phone at least once to try to reach a settlement before the jury comes to give its verdict.
But many who’ve been following events at the San Jose federal court would probably agree there’s about as much chance of that happening as there is of Apple boss Tim Cook and Samsung chief Choi Gee-sung parachuting off the Burj Khalifa together wearing penguin suits singing “You Are My Sunshine.”
In the multi-billion dollar patent battle, Apple is accusing Samsung of ripping off the design of its iPhone and iPad devices in the creation of some its own smartphones and tablets, including the Korean company’s Galaxy range of mobile devices.
The Cupertino company wants a permanent sales ban imposed on these Samsung products, as well as monetary damages. But it’s not all one-way traffic. Samsung accuses Apple of infringing a number of its patents, including ones linked to the way smartphones deal with email attachments, photos and the playing of music files.
Speaking in court on Wednesday, Koh told lawyers for Apple and Samsung, “It’s time for peace.”
Reuters reported that the judge told both sides they had “succeeded in raising awareness about the importance of their intellectual property rights.”
She added that she saw risks for both companies in leaving the outcome of the case to the nine-member jury – risks highlighted in this recent DT article by Simon Hill. He suggests that if Apple and Samsung don’t settle by themselves and it’s instead left to the jury, there’ll be “a storm” in the world of tech.
But both Cook and Gee-sung have already met once in a bid to resolve the long-running dispute. When the two company bosses sat around a table in April, they failed to reach any agreement – hence the current court case.
And after three weeks of costly court-based back-and-forth between Apple and Samsung, does anyone really believe Koh’s plea will come to anything?