May 21, 2012
Apple And Samsung CEOs To Meet This Week
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
CEOs Cook and Gee-Sung – of Apple and Samsung, respectively – are slated to begin their meetings to pare down their complaints with one another's company on Monday. US District Court Judge Lucy Koh told the two companies to condense their suits earlier in the month so as to save any juror in the case the headache of having to listen to each of their multiple complaints covering a multitude of devices.
The CEOs will carry along some legal counsel with them, Bruce Sewell representing Apple and Kim Hyun-chong representing Samsung, according to the Wall Street Journal.
However, according to People Familiar With the Matter, a deal between the top two tech giants is unlikely to come together.
For their part, Samsung has said they are willing to try and settle their differences with Apple outside of court. Speaking to Reuters, Samsung´s mobile division chief JK Shin said, “There is still a big gap in the patent war with Apple but we still have several negotiation options including cross-licensing.”
Court documents reveal the two companies have already met outside of court to try and resolve their differences, though it´s unclear whether Cook and Gee-Sung were in attendance.
This week´s two-day session will take place in a federal courtroom 40 miles outside of San Francisco. There, US Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero will be responsible for getting the two companies to play together nicely.
Should Spero see the two men getting hostile with one another, he will separate them and become the liaison between both sides, according to the Reuters report. Should this happen, for instance, one group could set up shop in a room normally reserved for jury deliberations while another group could occupy the judge´s offices.
According to Reuters´ unnamed lawyer with knowledge as to how these proceedings work, “You´ll see each other when you´re headed to the common bathroom, but that´s about it.”
Apple, you may remember, started this entire battle when the company sued Samsung for “slavishly” copying their designs, making their products look just like iProducts. So far, Apple has done well in court, winning several court decisions in the months since the battle began. Samsung, on the other hand, has yet to win any kind of injunctions which would hinder the impressive sales of Apple devices.
Despite this, Samsung hasn´t been doing poorly as a company. Their mobile division continues to sell more phones than Apple, further driving sales of Android devices, which have sold more units than iPhones.
As Samsung is seeking cross-licensing resolutions and Apple isn´t usually a fan of licensing, it´s not likely the two will be able to patch up their differences this way. In fact, some experts say the only way for Apple and Samsung to reach an agreement is for Apple to make Samsung realize it would be better to settle than go to court.
Should the two men be able to settle some of their differences this week, their court sessions will begin in July. Otherwise, their date could be pushed into next year.