Thursday, January 09, 2014

Apple and Samsung agree to CEO-level mediation session in patent war

Round two in the big Samsung - Apple patent fight -- at least the U.S. version -- is scheduled for March, but paperwork filed on Wednesday, reported by Reuters, indicates that ahead of that courtroom case, the two sides have agreed to a mediation session.

The meeting will take place on or before Feb. 19, the filing said. The attendees will be Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon, along with in-house lawyers -- only. In addition, the filing said that the companies' legal teams had already met, on Jan. 6, to "discuss settlement opportunities."

This suit is a separate action, covering different devices than the one that Apple won in August of 2012. In that case, a jury said that Samsung had infringed on six of Apple's mobile-device patents. Apple was awarded a total of roughly $930 million, as a result.

Previous attempts at CEO-level discussions between the two companies have not proven to be fruitful. A court-suggested (not really ordered) meeting between the two CEOs that took place in May of 2012 failed to result in a settlement, prior to the verdict rendered by the jury.

Thus, this mediation could result in a settlement or a possible licensing agreement between the tech giants. Or it could amount to nothing. The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., and will be heard in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (docket 11-1846).

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