updated 04:15 pm EDT, Tue April 17, 2012
Apple and Samsung given timeframe to talk deal
Lightly touched-on settlement talks between Apple and Samsung should become formal within the next three months. Judge Lucy Koh late Monday asked both sides to declare their availability for mediated talks within the next 90 days. Both sides on Tuesday agreed to enter into a settlement conference with Magistrate Judge Spero and will make available their respective CEOs, Tim Cook and Choi Gee-sung, as well as their chief counsel.
It's unclear whether any settlement discussion would be successful. Both sides have sued each other a cumulative 20-plus times worldwide, with Apple accusing Samsung of directly copying its hardware and software designs. Samsung has mostly been suing in defense, although its almost exclusive use of 3G standards patents to sue has triggered investigations of possible patent abuse.
Oracle and Google had faced harsher-still settlement demands and were ordered into unsuccessful mediation talks to try and avert a now-ongoing trial. Unlike the Apple case, however, their executive strategy has remained the same and has seen Oracle determined to extract as much of a penalty from Google as possible. Apple in the wake of Tim Cook becoming CEO has at least partly softened its all-or-nothing attitude towards punishing Google and may be more willing to reach a truce, particularly with Samsung as one of its most important component suppliers.
A settlement wouldn't necessarily end all cases, but the similarity of accusations and the overall motivations behind the original lawsuits could see an agreement in one country reflect changes of heart in others. [via Florian Mueller]