Tim Cook and Gee-Sung Choi will meet in San Francisco to discuss a possible settlement agreement
The chief executives of Apple and Samsung have agreed to meet within the next 90 days to potentially hammer out a settlement deal and bring an end to their ongoing patent battles in the US.
Tim Cook, Gee-Sung Choi and their respective general counsels will meet in a San Francisco courthouse where US magistrate judge Joseph Spero will mediate.
Settlement on the horizon?
As Florian Mueller notes, this arrangement is only semi-voluntary. “Judge Lucy Koh, the federal judge presiding over the two Apple v. Samsung lawsuits in the Northern District of California, ordered the parties to comment on their availability for an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) effort,” he wrote on the FOSS Patents blog.
“In this situation, they both had to be cooperative: if only one of them had made the CEO available, the other one would have appeared to be less than constructive.”
Mueller adds that a similar tactic was employed by courts in the Oracle versus Google case, but talks have failed to prevent the pair going to trial this week.
However, the situation between Samsung and Apple is more convoluted than Oracle’s infringement claims against the Android OS. The two companies have been routinely engaging in injunction pleas against each others products and have a combined 20 patent cases ongoing in 10 countries, Reuters reports. Among the products at dispute are the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy S II and the iPhone 4S.
Considering the amount of business Samsung does with Apple (rumoured to be worth roughly $8 billion) and the significant potential for expensive and drawn out courtroom battles around the world, there is certainly enough incentive for an amicable conclusion to be reached in San Francisco, though whether such an ending will be transpire will be difficult to predict.
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