Apple, Samsung Meet May 21-22 To Discuss Settlement


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Earlier this month we brought you news that Apple and Samsung had been instructed to meet to discuss a settlement for their ongoing patent lawsuit, which will soon be heading to trial in California. The meeting, ordered by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, was to be held within 90 days.

Now, Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents is reporting that a date for the settlement meeting has been set. Apple CEO Tim Cook will meet with Samsung CEO Gee-Sung Choi, along with their respective general counsels, in San Francisco on May 21st and 22nd at 9:30 AM (Pacific time, naturally). The is to be mediated by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero, who has asked the companies to provide "a candid evaluation of the parties' likelihood of prevailing on the claims and defense" by May 9th.

Apple and Samsung have been engaged in this patent infringement battle since last April, when Apple filed suit in U.S. District Court. Apple's suit alleged that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy smartphones "slavishly" copied design elements of Apple's iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued in the U.S. and elsewhere. The current dispute now consists of roughly 20 separate suits in ten countries.

The likelihood of this settlement meeting actually resolving the dispute and avoiding a trial is fairly low. Though Tim Cook may not share his predecessor's ferocious anger over situations like this one, he has said that Apple will continue litigation unless he can be satisfied that companies like Samsung will stop infringing on Apple's designs and make appropriate reparations. A similar settlement meeting between Oracle and Google concerning their current patent lawsuit was not able to avert a trial.