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Bryan M. Wolfe
| May 21, 2012
Apple, Samsung Head To Mediation
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung are meeting today and tomorrow in San Francisco, California. The two leaders hope to end numerous lawsuits between their companies over intellectual property rights, according to Reuters. In talks scheduled to possibly end what many are calling the “100 Years War” of intellectual property battles, the meeting is being used as “a candid evaluation of the parties’ likelihood of prevailing on the claims and defenses.” In what is being described as “the corporate equivalent of therapy,” Cook and Gee-sung will meet with a federal judge in the court-supervised mediation. According to the report, courts in the United States are "increasingly demanding that parties in civil disputes take a stab at mediation, and the federal courts in northern California have been pioneers in pushing litigants toward various forms of alternative dispute resolution." As you may recall, Apple claims Samsung copied their iPhone and iPad designs. In an initial filing made in the U.S. in April 2011, the Cupertino, California-based company specifically targets Samsung’s “Galaxy S 4G,” “Epic 4G,” and “Nexus S” smart phones, and their “Galaxy Tab” tablet. 50 lawsuits in 10 countries. For his part, Cook recently said he hates litigation and just wishes people would invent their own stuff. As stated at Apple’s last earning call, Cook commented:
“If we could get to some kind of arrangement where we could be assured that’s the case and a fair settlement on the stuff that’s occurred, I would highly prefer to settle versus battle. But the key thing is that it’s very important that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff.”This week's session will take place in a federal courtroom in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. It will be up to U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero “to corral the CEOs and their lawyers toward a settlement.” Naturally, while Apple and Samsung are competitors, they are also long-time partners. In fact, much of what makes an iPhone one of the top-selling smartphones in the world, is due to parts supplied by Samsung. If the two sides can't come to an agreement, a trial will begin in San Jose, California in July. The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846. Should Apple try to resolve their issues with Samsung in mediation or let a court decide if the Korean-based company copied their products? Source: Reuters Photos: What's Huge, AppleInsider