Even after so many rounds of patent disputes in court, and many wins and losses, Samsung and Apple always manage to make the headline from time to time, one way or the other. Everyone involved in this dispute knows that things can’t continue down that path all the time, which is why the CEOs of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics have agreed to meet as part of a mediated session on February 19th.
Both companies are preparing themselves and their respective legal teams for yet another court room battle in March relating to alleged infringement of smartphone patents. The mediated meeting will be attended by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon as well as a set of in-house lawyers. A court filing, made public yesterday, states that the company’s legal teams had already met on January 6th with the intention of discussing potential settlement deals to try and avoid further legal action.
If the meeting proves successful and opens up the arena for debate then it’s highly possible that the planned March court battle could be averted. The bitter legal wrangle between the world’s top two smartphone vendors has been ongoing for longer than most of us care to remember and involves a hotly contested battle of various smartphone patents. The complexities of the case are made worse by the fact that the issues exist in multiple countries across a wide array of smartphone and tablet devices.
If the outcome of the meeting is negative and next month’s trial can’t be avoided then it will be yet another major appearance to add to the two trials that have already occurred in San Jose, California. Previously released court documents show that Apple has paid approximately $60 million to its external law firm to bring these allegations against Samsung, which seems like small change when you consider the legal system has awarded upwards of $900 million in damages to the Cupertino based company.
Back in November, Apple was awarded an additional $290 million in damages for copying the iPhone. And back in August in 2012, Apple saw a huge win against the Korean giant when Apple was awarded $1 billion in damages, but later that number was slightly chopped down. Also it is worth noting that this is the second time mediated talks are being held between the two CEOs. The first one was held in the beginning of 2012, and no conclusion was reached.
Do you think that a mediated meeting will be the savior of this situation? Given the fact that the two companies have been going at each other for a long time, it seems highly unlikely.