Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 12:11 pm PT (03:11 pm ET)
Apple, Samsung CEOs agree to meet in California for settlement talksApple Chief Executive Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Gee-Sung Choi have agreed to meet in San Francisco, Calif., within the next three months to participate in moderated settlement talks.
Both Apple and Samsung have indicated they are willing to participate in a settlement conference that will be overseen by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero, according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. The meeting will take place in a San Francisco courthouse.
The two rivals are attempting to settle their ongoing, numerous legal disputes that began last April, when Apple sued Samsung for allegedly copying the look and feel of its popular iPhone and iPad devices. Samsung has shot back with its own patent infringement complaints against Apple, and the companies are now involved in a number of lawsuits against each other around the world.
Cook and Choi will take part in the talks along with their respective general counsels. The meeting came to be after Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over two lawsuits Apple has filed against Samsung in the Northern District of California, ordered the parties into an "Alternative Dispute Resolution" effort. Mueller explained that given the situation, both companies had to be cooperative.
"If only one of them had made the CEO available, the other one would have appeared less than constructive," he said.
Koh has set a 90-day deadline for Apple's team, including Cook, to meet with Samsung officials, including Choi, in a hearing overseen by Spero.
That the meeting will take place is by no means an indication that the dispute between Samsung and Apple will be resolved. Google and Oracle took part in a similar hearing last fall, and Mueller noted that those talks failed and both companies are now inc ourt.
Though the courts have essentially forced the two parties to meet, they cannot strong-arm them into a settlement. Mueller said that's why firm trial dates are generally a much more effective way to create a settlement. He said he's "skeptical" that anything will come out of the meeting.
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