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Samsung and Apple Confirmed to Enter Mediation Services

Wednesday, May, 23, 2012

Lawsuits in the tech industry are so common right now that they can be difficult to keep up with. A particularly ugly dispute—the one between Apple and Samsung—has finally been confirmed for mediation services, and the court has ordered that the two industry giants attempt to work out their problems before the trial commenses.

What This Civil Mediation Will Attempt to Address


Initially, Apple accused Samsung of copyright infringement, stating that they copied several of their products. Samsung fired back, accusing Apple of patent infringement on several accounts. To add to the complexity of the issue, Apple uses several Samsung products as components in some of their most profitable products, chiefly the iPad and the iPhone.


The continual accusations between both parties leading to the trial set for July 30 have added to the complexity of the case to the point that one judge decided that the case was too complicated for a jury trial. This, after both of the companies have been asked to make their cases more simple by narrowing down their claims to the essential elements.

Expectations of the Mediation Between Apple and Samsung


Ultimately, the goal of the mediation is to have the CEOs of the two companies, Tim Cook for Apple and Choi Gee-sung for Samsung, discuss the design and patent issues and try to reach an agreement before the trial. However, it may be that the best they will likely accomplish is to narrow down the number of specific issues that both sides have before the trial is underway.


The view among many patent experts is skeptical of any success resulting from the mediation services. One patent expert, Florian Mueller, specifically said that “the dispute isn't ripe for settlement.” Given how heated this dispute is, Mueller may be right, but according to JK Shin, head of Samsung's Mobile Communications division, there is still some room for compromise.