Apple and Samsung Agree to New Round of Patent Dispute Mediation
Wednesday, January, 15, 2014
Apple and Samsung are two of the largest worldwide electronics companies, each armed with plenty of money and plenty of lawyers. And they have been locked in a years-long dispute over key patents Apple claims makes Samsung’s competing products illegal.
Apple won the first round of lawsuits in 2012, receiving a $1 billion judgment against Samsung. Appeals of that decision, however, have kept the final resolution elusive. Since that lawsuit, Apple has filed another concerning new Samsung products. Although mediation has failed in the past for the two companies, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh made a formal request that the two companies try mediation again. Apple and Samsung issued statements agreeing to locate and hire a high-profile mediator to review the case before proceeding to court again.
The lawsuit in question would likely result in another lengthy proceeding that would end with another large-sum award, which would in turn lead to another round of lengthy appeals no matter the resolution. Judge Koh no doubt sees benefits in trying anything possible to avoid this lengthy and expensive fate.
The mediation process as defined by the two companies would include the assigned mediator, the CEOs of each company and company lawyers. No outside counsel would be allowed into the process.