Apple, Samsung CEOs head to patent mediation talks May 21

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-sung will participate in two days of mediation talks starting May 21 in hopes of putting the long-simmering patent feud between the two companies to rest. 

The smartphone giants will hold two days of talks May 21 and May 22 at an undisclosed San Francisco courthouse, according to court documents first unearthed by the Foss Patents blog. Earlier this month U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh directed the companies to a San Francisco-based magistrate judge, Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero, who will lead the talks. The talks will also include the companies' general counsels and are expected to be completely confidential.

Spero has told the companies that they need to provide a settlement statement by May 9 that would include, among other things, "a candid evaluation of the parties' likelihood of prevailing on the claims and defenses." In other words, the companies need to honestly describe how likely it is that they would win against each other in court.

Apple first sued Samsung in April 2011, claiming that Samsung "slavishly" copied its iPhone design. Samsung countersued and since then the patent battle between the companies has spread to multiple continents, reaching dozens of cases in 10 countries. Samsung and Apple are the world's two largest smartphone makers, with Samsung landing the No. 1 position in global smartphone sales in the first quarter, according to Strategy Analytics.

For more:
- see this Foss Patents post
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this The Verge article

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