Apple and Samsung CEOs to Meet for Court-Moderated Settlement Talks over Patent Issues

FOSS Patents reports that the chief executives of Apple and Samsung, along with their respective general counsels, will meet within the next 90 days at a San Francisco courthouse for a court-moderated discussion aimed at settling the long-standing patent dispute between the two companies. As outlined in a joint statement before the court:

As directed by the Court, Apple and Samsung are both willing to participate in a Magistrate Judge Settlement Conference with Judge Spero as mediator. At Apple, the chief executive officer and general counsel are the appropriate decision-makers, and they will represent Apple during the upcoming settlement discussions. At Samsung, the chief executive officer and general counsel are also the appropriate decision-makers, and they will represent Samsung during these settlement discussions.

The report notes that the settlement talks are "semi-voluntary" in that the court can only compel the parties to meet and talk, but can not force them to reach an agreement. It also in the best interest of the two companies to make their most senior officials available for the discussions so as to demonstrate for the court a good faith effort at resolving the dispute.


Apple would obviously be represented by CEO Tim Cook and general counsel Bruce Sewell, while Samsung would appear to be sending representatives from the parent company including CEO Gee-Sung Choi.

Top Rated Comments

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109 months ago
More disputes need to be settled with "sit downs". Less litigation and less money going to lawyers is always a good thing.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago
I'm tired of patents making the news. I just want cool stuff.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago
There was a cover piece about this a few weeks back in BusinessWeek that started with the summary of some proceedings in California when the judge openly mocked Apple for bringing on the patent wars. "The last time you were here, you said you had a business relationship - I forget what the number was, $8 million? $8 billion?"

The problem for Apple is that if it doesn't win (or when it doesn't win, as has been the case), it actually impairs the company's position when negotiating cross-licensing deals. Because Steve was too busy throwing a hissy fit and trying to fight a proxy war on Android by crying over rounded corners instead of *actually* taking on Google, it's put the company in a worse position. Tim has done a commendable job of fighting smart battles and ignoring the stupid ones.

Apple has absolutely no reason to negotiate anything with thieves, unless it's under legal compulsion to do so.

Though a simple "discussion" sounds innocuous enough.

The problem is that Apple is complaining over elementary design issues while Samsung countered with legitimate technical patents. For example.... the front of the iPad - ripped off from a 1994 design:



Based on the preliminary ruling from December, taking this to trial wouldn't end well for Apple.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago
What a farce. They should have Judge Judy presiding.

I don't see this going anywhere except back into the boxing ring.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago
Cook Strategy

I wonder if the reason Tim Cook, is so quick to settle disputes with clients, is because he wants Apple to spend their money on things that generate profit.

Apple is spending Hundreds a million on these things that could go towards things that advance technology.

Cook is blazing the trail in wanting to give up on whats been an on-going battle for a few years.

............

I wonder if Cook is willing to just raise the white flag, and tell competitors don't waist your time in disputes with Apple.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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109 months ago
I picture the opening scene of Wedding Crashers when I imagine these two companies sitting at a table
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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