Court orders Apple and Samsung CEOs to hold settlement talks


18 Apr 2012

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Apple and Samsung’s CEOs and chief lawyers will meet in San Francisco for settlement talks over their numerous smartphone patent lawsuits across the globe.

FOSS Patents reports that in the next 90 days, the two companies will meet in a courthouse to talk about a settlement overseen by US Magistrate Judge Joseph C Spero. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Gee-sung Choi will meet along with their chief lawyers.

Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over two Apple and Samsung lawsuits in the North District of California, ordered both companies to comment on their availability for an alternative dispute resolution effort. Once they told her of their availability, Koh ordered them to meet within 90 days. As a result, the talks are only semi-voluntary.

If the settlement talks do not succeed, both companies must submit a streamlined version of their claims and defences.

It’s uncertain if the settlement talks will resolve the companies’ patent complaints. Apple and Samsung have ongoing legal disputes over smartphone and tablet patents, which have spanned across the globe in regions such as the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Apple claims Samsung’s Galaxy range infringed on its iPhone and iPad designs while Samsung claims Apple is using its wireless patents.

The European Commission recently launched an investigation into whether Samsung abused commonly available patents on smartphones to attack Apple in these disputes. It alleges that Samsung contravened a commitment it gave to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and used standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European device markets.