It’s been a long time coming, but the chief executive officers of Apple and Samsung, Tim Cook and Oh-Hyun Kwon, have now finally agreed to sit down and come to a long-term agreement concerning the companies’ ongoing legal disputes surrounding smartphone-related patents.
The news reached us from Reuters, which explains that the two CEOs have confirmed that on or before Feb. 19, they’ll be attending a dedicated session “with in-house lawyers only.” The arrangement, which was outlined in a Wednesday court filing, noted that Apple and Samsung’s legal teams had met previously on Jan. 6 to “discuss settlement opportunities.”
For Apple and Samsung, patent disputes surrounding smartphone-related innovations are almost as old as the iPhone itself. However, the long-standing battle between the Cupertino, Calif. and South Korean technology giants significantly developed towards the end of 2013.
First, in November Apple was awarded $290 million as part of the continuing patent infringement war being fought against Samsung. Then soon after, Samsung attempted to stay the trail, but a U.S. judge denied the move.
In a more surprising turn of events, however, Samsung went on in December to demand a retrial on grounds of “racial bias.”
Of course, this is just one facet of a much larger legal dispute. All in all, analysts envisage that Samsung owes Apple more than $800 million in patent infringement damages. Whether the two companies will be able to put aside their differences in order to bring this ongoing legal battle to an end in February, however, remains to be seen.
Considering Apple’s recent dispute against Michael Bromwich’s huge legal bill following its e-book trial, Tim Cook et al. would be wise to avoid the courts (and their accompanying costs) as much as possible in 2014.
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
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