Skip to main content

Apple and Samsung mull courtroom truce, but outlook still bleak

Apple and Samsung are trying once again to resolve their patent fight out of court, but don't hold your breath for a resolution.

A Thursday court document revealed that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon will meet by or before 19 February to try to reach a settlement on their two-year patent battle.

Legal execs for both companies met on 6 January to discuss settlement opportunities, the filing said, and they agreed on a mediator who will handle the February meetup. Outside counsel will not attend the sitdown between Cook and Kwon.

The companies didn't simply have a change of heart, though. In November, Judge Lucy Koh ordered them to submit a proposal regarding settlement discussions before the trial that is set to kick off in March.

The judge has done this before. Prior to an August 2012 trial between Samsung and Apple, which ultimately resulted in a victory for Samsung to the tune of about $900 million, the companies also tried to hash out their differences.

At the time, Judge Koh said there were "risks here for both sides" in letting a jury decide whether Samsung copied the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy lineup of devices, and urged both sides to try talking it out.

Apple's Cook and Samsung's Choi Gee-Sung sat down in May 2012, and Cook spoke with Kwon on the phone in August, but to no avail.

In November 2012 - in the wake of an Apple patent deal with HTC - Shin Jong-Kyun, head of Samsung's mobile and IT division, told reporters that "we don't intend to [negotiate] at all."

Now, the two companies are set to go to trial again in the same California court in a case that covers devices that were not eligible to be included in the first trial.

They are also fighting similar battles in other courtrooms around the globe.