Tim Cook to start settlement talks with Samsung head today

Well it appears that Apple could be getting closer to resolving its 14 month-long patent dispute with Samsung. The two companies are slated to begin their court-ordered mediation session later today.

Reuters is reporting that it has learned that Apple’s Tim Cook, and Samsung vice chairman Choi Gee-sung will be meeting in a San Francisco federal courthouse this afternoon to discuss a legal truce…

“Apple’s Tim Cook and Samsung’s Choi Gee-sung, whose companies are embroiled in bitter patent litigation, have been instructed by a federal judge to appear for court-supervised mediation. A joint court filing in April said that “as directed by the Court, Apple and Samsung are both willing to participate” in the discussions.”

Apple started the patent war back in April of last year, filing a number of trademark-based infringement claims against Samsung for copying the “look and feel” of its iPhones and iPads. Samsung fired back, suing Apple over some of its many standards-essential patents (3G, etc.). And the two have been going at it ever since.

Despite their lengthy history, however, both sides appear to be willing to negotiate some kind of truce. Tim Cook recently said that Apple hates patent litigation, it just wants people to make their own stuff. And Samsung certainly seems to be doing more of that lately.

It’ll be interesting to see how this week’s mediation session — which is scheduled for two days — goes. All kinds of outcomes are on the table, including a mass cross-licensing deal that would give the two companies tremendous access to each other’s intellectual property.