Today the new Samsung CEO, Kwon Oh Hyun, plans to call Timothy Cook to see whether they can resolve their smartphone patent dispute prior to jury deliberations in the ongoing Apple vs. Samsung trial. The companies’ lawyers will then report the discussion’s outcome to the judge presiding over the case.
As testimony in the trial drew to a close, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh asked that the CEOs talk to discuss their mutual differences, saying that she is “pathologically optimistic” that they could settle their smartphone and tablet patent claims outside of the courtroom. The heads of the companies have already met prior to the beginning of the trial and were unable to reach a settlement.
This is not the first time that Judge Koh has attempted to facilitate a more peaceful agreement. Back in May, she ordered both sides to cut the number of claims they had against each other because she felt it was unacceptable for a jury to try to negotiate around the multitude of patents and products involved in the case. Both companies complied and dropped about half of their claims. At that time Tim Cook also spoke with then-CEO Choi Gee-Sung on Judge Koh’s orders, but no resolution was reached.
Apple has also reached out of its own accord to Samsung in the past, offering iOS patent licensing back in 2010 as an act of goodwill because Samsung is a strategic supplier to Apple. They even offered a 20 percent discount to Samsung to cross-license its portfolio back to them. However, their offers were rejected, and Apple ended up suing Samsung in April 2011. Samsung responded by counter suing Apple, and the case became the first smartphone patent disagreement to go before a federal jury.
Samsung is currently seeking as much as $399 million in royalties from Apple for infringing its patents, while Apple in turn has presented testimony claiming Samsung owes as much as $2.75 billion in damages for copyright infringement. Jury deliberations in the case could begin as soon as tomorrow.