Apple, Samsung CEOs to meet in an effort to settle ahead of March patent trial


There’ll almost certainly be coffee, there might even be cake, but will there be an agreement? No, probably not.

Although Apple boss Tim Cook once said he “hates litigation”, his loathing of court-based capers might not be strong enough for him to compromise on issues of patent infringement when he meets Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon in the coming weeks.

That’s right, a court filing late Wednesday revealed that the bosses of the two tech giants have agreed to take part in a mediation session ahead of a new patent trial scheduled to begin in California in March.

Although plenty of patent-related trials, retrials, claims, counterclaims, and appeals involving the two companies are continuing to rumble on in courtrooms around the world, they relate mainly to mobile phones and tablets on the verge of becoming museum pieces. March’s trial will focus on patents related to the companies’ newest products, with fresh arguments over who copied who being readied right now.

The agreed mediation session, which will take place on or before February 19, is the result of a court order stipulating that the two companies should try to solve the dispute prior to the start of the March trial.

If such a meeting sounds familiar, you’re right. In May 2012, Cook met the then Samsung CEO Choi Gee-Sung, but the pair failed to find any common ground. Trials since then have largely gone Apple’s way, with the Korean tech giant ordered to pay the Cupertino company a total of almost a $1 billion.

Despite Cook’s stated dislike of litigation, there is of course one group of people delighted with the ongoing work. Apple said in court documents filed last month that it has so far paid an outside law firm approximately $60 million to fight Samsung in its patent-related courtroom battles.

[Source: Reuters]