Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon have agreed to attend a mediation session by Feb. 19, about one month before the two tech titans are scheduled to return to the courtroom for yet another round of patent litigation.
According to a court filing first spotted by Reuters, Cook and Kwon will meet with in-house lawyers to discuss a possible out-of-court resolution before the two parties' second California patent trial begins in March.
The high level mediation is an offshoot of a Jan. 6 conference in which Apple and Samsung counsel met to "discuss settlement opportunities."
From Wednesday's notice:
Pursuant to this Court's November 13, 2013 Order that the Parties submit a proposal regarding settlement discussions before the March 2014 trial, Apple and Samsung jointly submit this Notice that the parties have agreed to the following:
- Senior legal executives from Apple and Samsung legal met in person on Monday, January 6, 2014 to discuss settlement opportunities;
- The parties agreed upon a mediator who has experience mediating high profile disputes. Mediation will take place by or before February 19, 2014;
- Each party's Chief Executive Officer and 3-4 in-house counsel will attend the mediation;
- No outside counsel will attend the mediation.
Cook previously met with Samsung Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung and mobile head Shin Jong-Kyun in July of 2012 in a similar mediation session meant to broker some sort of resolution before the landmark Apple v. Samsung patent trial. The meeting was ultimately fruitless as disagreements on patent worth stalled forward progress.
Apple and Samsung are suing each other over alleged infringed patents dealing with smartphone and mobile device technology and design. This second case is slated to begin on Mar. 31.