CEOs of Apple, Samsung to Meet to Resolve Patent Dispute

The court ordered a summit Monday intended to hash out the companies' differences and try to end their international patent wars.
By John P Mello
News May 21st 2012

Two technology titans who have been grappling in courts around the world will be meeting face to face Monday to see if they can settle their differences and concentrate on what they do best: creating great consumer electronics products.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Major Domo Gee-Sung Choi are scheduled to meet in San Francisco to engage in two days of discussions about claims and counterclaims made in lawsuits filed in the United States in which each company maintains its intellectual property has been infringed by the other.

The meeting between the two CEOs isn't a voluntary one. It was ordered by the federal judge, Lucy Koh, presiding over lawsuits filed by Apple against Samsung alleging infringement of patents for both the iPad and iPhone.

Although the negotiation sessions next week, which will be refereed by Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero, involve U.S. cases, they could have ramifications for the 47 lawsuits between the two companies in nine other countries.

Similar negotiations were ordered in another high profile, high tech trial -- Google vs. Oracle --but both sides failed to settle anything and the case had to go to trial anyway. However, that may not be the case in the Apple-Samsung negotiations.

First of all, efforts have been made before by Apple to settle its differences with the Korean company. Those efforts came to light in an Australian court in 2011 when an Apple patent attorney testified that former CEO Steve Jobs contacted Samsung in July 2010 in an attempt to settle the company's intellectual property differences.