Apple and Samsung Confirm Failed Mediation Talks in Court Filing
More details have emerged about the mediation meeting recently held by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) from a joint report that the companies filed with the court, reports Foss Patents. As previously reported by Reuters, Apple and Samsung had been ordered by the court to meet on or before February 19, ahead of their next patent-infringement trial scheduled in March. However, according to unnamed sources cited by ZDNet Korea, the two tech rivals were unable to reach an amicable solution to their ongoing patent-infringement dispute.
The court filing confirmed that the meeting was held in the first week of February and was attended by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO of IT and Mobile Communications JK Shin, as well as various in-house lawyers and executives from both companies. Per the court filing provided by Foss Patents, “The parties did not reach an agreement at that session.”
However, the court filing also revealed that the companies were still in communication with each other via the mediator and were still actively seeking a settlement agreement. Per the court filing: “Since that session, one or more of the foregoing party representatives has spoken with the mediator numerous times in order to progress the settlement efforts. For example, Apple representatives held telephonic conference calls with the mediator more than six times after the mediation. Samsung representatives held telephonic conference calls and other communications with the mediator more than four times after the mediation.”
The joint status report also noted that “Parties remain willing to work through the mediator jointly selected by the parties.” Though Samsung and Apple have been unable to reach an agreement so far, the court filing suggests that a settlement is still possible before the next patent-infringement trial begins on March 31.
The upcoming patent-infringement trial will be over several newer Samsung devices. Last November, Apple won a major victory against Samsung in the U.S. when a California jury ruled that the Korea-based company must pay the iPhone maker more than $290 million in damages over thirteen products that were found to be infringing on five of Apple’s patents. Along with the damages award from a previous trial, Samsung now owes Apple approximately $930 million. However, the devices in dispute at the last trial are no longer even sold by Samsung.
The two smartphone rivals have been engaged in various legal battles in courtrooms around the world ever since Apple initially filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung in 2011. Like the last patent-infringement trial, the upcoming trial will also be presided over by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.
As previously reported by Foss Patents, Judge Koh recently denied “judgment as a matter of law” motions, or JMOL motions, that were submitted by both companies over the patent-infringement trial that was held last November. The denial of the motions brings the last damages trial closer to a final conclusion, which means Samsung may soon be forced to pay Apple the $930 million damages award.
Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)