Sunday, April 29, 2012

Apple, Samsung CEOs to meet May 21-22 for lawsuit settlement talks

As their love-hate relationship continues - Samsung is a key supplier of components for iDevices, but the companies are at war over patents, iOS, and Android - Apple CEO Tim Cook and his Samsung counterpart, Choi Gee-sung, are scheduled to meet on May 21-22 for settlement talks.

It's not totally unexpected. The companies had been pressured U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California, to meet for court-moderated settlement talks. Apple and Samsung agreed to this in mid-April, with the meeting made at the level of CEOs and their top lawyers, with Koh wanting the meeting to occur within 90 days.

A separate judge will oversee the settlement meetings, Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero. The talks will begin each day at 9:30 a.m. PDT, in a San Francisco courthouse, while the litigation itself continues to be held before a San Jose division of the court.

The companies have been at loggerheads for about a year, beginning in April of 2011. According to Foss Patents' Florian Mueller, the dispute now encompasses some 50 lawsuits across 10 countries.

ClamCase All-in-One Keyboard Case & Stand
Unlike his predecessor, the late Steve Jobs who, angry at Google over Android, promised to "go thermonuclear" on the issue, current Apple CEO Tim Cook recently signaled the possibility of a settlement between the two companies when on an analyst conference call he admitted that he “hates” litigation and that he’d “highly prefer to settle than to battle.”

It seems unlikely that two days will be enough to reach a settlement for something so complex, convoluted, and contentious. Still, the possibility exists that Apple and Samsung may be able to at least start down the path of settlement.

No comments: