Apple, Samsung executives try to resolve patent dispute

Executives from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung have been holding talks to try and resolve the ongoing patent dispute between the companies, according to a lawyer representing Apple in the case. 

The disclosure came in a court hearing Friday, when Apple ratcheted up the litigation between the two companies by claiming that more of Samsung's devices infringe on Apple's patents and trademarks.

At the hearing, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh spoke about the close business relationship Samsung has with Apple (Apple was Samsung's second-largest customer in 2010 after Sony, mainly for chipset purchases), "Can't we all just get along here?" asked Koh, according to Reuters.

Harold McElhinny, an attorney for Apple, said the patent dispute has received the attention of executives "at the highest levels" of the two companies.

"Can we get them together?" Koh asked. "They are in fact meeting and talking," McElhinny responded, without providing more details.

However, a Samsung spokesman sought to throw cold water on the idea. "We are unaware of any meetings or discussions between the two sides over this matter," Samsung spokesman Kim Titus told FierceWireless.

Meanwhile, Apple said in its amended complaint that more of Samsung's devices infringe on its patents, including the Nexus S 4G for Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and the Droid Charge for Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ). Despite whatever negotiations may be taking place between the companies, Apple did not back down in its latest complaint, arguing that Samsung "has been even bolder" than other competitors that are imitating Apple's products and has created "products that blatantly imitate the appearance of Apple's products to capitalize on Apple's success."

Apple sued Samsung in April, arguing Samsung's smartphones and tablets "slavishly" copied Apple products and trademarks. Samsung promptly countersued, arguing that it was Apple that was infringing. In May, a federal judge ordered Samsung to give Apple's lawyers access to the Android-based Droid Charge, Galaxy S II and Infuse 4G smartphones, as well as two tablets, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple had asked for the products to see if they should be part of the lawsuit. Samsung then asked to see unreleased versions of Apple's iPhone and iPad. Apple has been battling Samsung's attempts to get it to reveal unreleased products as part of the litigation. 

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this V3 article
- see this Foss Patents post
- see this PC Magazine article

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