updated 10:41 am EDT, Mon August 20, 2012
Last-ditch effort despite previous failed settlement attempts
The CEOs of Apple and Samsung, Tim Cook and Kwon Oh Hyun, are expected to have a phone conversation later today in an attempt to settle their ongoing trial before it goes to jury, according to a Bloomberg source. Lawyers for the two companies are then expected to report to the US District Judge overseeing the case, Lucy Koh. The call would be a fulfillment of a request by Koh late last week that the two executives talk; at the time, the judge said she was "pathologically optimistic" that a settlement could be reached.
Apple and Samsung are still filing motions regarding jury instructions and exhibits, including the highly-contested issue of destroyed email evidence. On August 18th, the companies said that that they hadn't made any more progress in narrowing claims; several settlement attempts have been made in the past, but also without any meaningful results. Today's phone call could in fact represent one of the last efforts to avoid a court ruling, since Koh has said that jury deliberations could begin as soon as Tuesday.
Apple has claimed that Samsung owes as much as $2.5 to $2.75 billion in damages for patent violations. Samsung, though, is countersuing, insisting that Apple must pay up to $399 million in royalties for a different set of patents. Both parties may thus have a strong incentive to settle, especially since a court judgment could fail to completely satisfy either side.