Apple And Samsung Agree To Mediation

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

Follow on: Google +

Company CEOs to meet before upcoming US patent court clash

Apple and Samsung, the two biggest smartphone manufactures in the world, have agreed to attend a mediation session to be held on or before 19 February ahead of a court meeting in March.

The companies are currently embroiled in a legal battle across several countries dating back several years, with this mediation meeting covering a case in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose regarding claims from Apple that Samsung infringed patents on some of its devices.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon will attend the session with in-house lawyers only, according to a court filing from the two companies, whose legal teams had met on 6 January to “discuss settlement opportunities,” the filing read. The court has ordered the companies to submit a proposal regarding settlement discussions before the March 2014 trial, according to the filing.

Samsung ApplePeace talks?

There is no word yet on who will chair the meeting, with the filing only saying that senior legal executives from Apple and Samsung met in person on Monday to discuss settlement opportunities, and agreed upon a mediator “who has experience mediating high profile disputes.”

Over the last two years, Apple and Samsung have fought more than fifty separate lawsuits around the globe, with millions of dollars in damages being paid to both sides. One lawsuit in 2013 ended with a judge awarding Apple more than $1 billion in damages, although this was later cut. Last year Samsung won a limited ban from the US International Trade Commission on sales of certain Apple products, but the ban was later vetoed.

This current case could be a chance for the two companies to begin resolving their various differences, although it may well not. Apple said in court documents filed in December that it has paid its leading outside law firm approximately $60 million to wage patent litigation against Samsung.

Are you a patent expert? Find out with our quiz!