Apple and Samsung bosses meeting on May 21-22 to talk patents

As previously hinted, top dogs at Apple and Samsung will meet next month to discuss a possible settlement to the ongoing patent war which has seen minor casualties on both sides, but has otherwise failed to produce an outright winner. A new report claims the upcoming mediation will take place on May 21 and May 22, starting on each day at 9:30am.

The court-moderated settlement talk is to seek an alternative dispute resolution to the more than fifty lawsuits the two technology giants have filed against each other in little more than a year in courts the world over…

Apple, Samsung’s biggest buyer of components, will be represented by CEO Tim Cook. He will engage in talks with his counterpart at Samsung, CEO Gee-Sung Chog.

According to patent expert Florian Müeller, writing for his own blog FOSS Patents:

The meetings will take place in a San Francisco courthouse, while the litigation itself is before the San Jose division of the court. With Oracle v. Google, it was just the opposite: the case is currently being tried in San Francisco, but court-ordered settlement talks took place in San Jose.

Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero, who is not directly involved with the lawsuit, will oversee the negotiations, according to FOSS Patents. Unfortunately, the mediation and statements from these talks will apparently remain confidential.

Apple once referred to Samsung in court documents as “the copyist”. The South Korean company returned favor by likening Apple customers to sheep in the Galaxy S III teaser video. A series of Galaxy S II commercials also indirectly spoofed Apple by painting those who would wait in the line for a new iPhone in unfavorable light, as seen below.


The 51-year-old CEO of Apple asserted during a recent conference call with Wall Street investors that he’d rather settle, hinting he wasn’t fond of a “thermonuclear” option that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs so fiercely pursued.

I’ve always hated litigation. We just want people to invent their own stuff. If we could get an arrangement where we can be assured that’s the case, and that a fair settlement on stuff that’s occurred, I would highly prefer to settle vs. battle.

Instead, a recent Bloomberg story pointed out, Cook is seeking ways to settle the long-standing patent dispute as he deems litigation a “necessary evil”.

Later in May, Cook will also open the annual All Things Digital technology conference, which takes place from May 29-31, 2012 at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak made a point recently by saying that successful corporations like Apple and Facebook were started by young thinkers with bold new ideas who didn’t have to deal with today’s messy patent issues.

Strategy Analytics pegged Samsung’s first-quarter smartphone sales at 44.5 million units, seemingly re-taking the crown of the world’s biggest smartphone maker by volume from Apple. During the same three-month period, California-based Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones.

Samsung also passed Nokia for the first time to become the leading cell phone vendor globally. However, it should be noted that direct performance comparison between Samsung and Apple is prone to inaccuracies because Samsung stopped divulging smartphone and tablet sales data last year, citing competitive reasons.

Research firm IHS iSuppli put shipments of Samsung smartphones at 32 million units, three million units behind Apple – quite an estimate gap between IHS iSuppli and Strategy Analytics.

As legal issues persist, the two frenemies continue to duke it out in both the courtroom and marketplace.

What do you think, will Apple and Samsung settle?

We know Apple demands up to $15 per each Android device sold.

Realistically, is this too high a royalty fee? Which party, if any, will prevail?