Apple, Samsung CEOs to Talk Patent Settlement May 21

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung are set to meet on May 21 and May 22 to begin talks that could potentially lead to a settlement in their ongoing patent infringement lawsuit battle. The talks will be overseen by Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero instead of Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the actual patent infringement case.

Apple, Samsung to start patent settlement talksJudge Spero is asking both Apple and Samsung to also provide “a candid evaluation of the parties’ likelihood of prevailing on the claims and defenses,” according to Foss Patents.

Exactly what will come of those evaluations is unclear since neither side will likely admit to any weaknesses in their case. “[Apple and Samsung] won’t really say that any of their claims are legally weak, no matter in front of whom these talks take place, but there’s no way they would ever express even the slightest skepticism over any of their claims in front of a judge involved with the actual litigation,” said Florian Mueller of Foss Patents.

Apple and Samsung have been involved in a months-long patent infringement battle in courts around the world over allegations that each side is using mobile patents without proper licensing. At one point Apple’s attorneys claimed in court that Samsung has been “slavishly” copying the iPhone and iPad designs.

Judge Koh pushed Apple and Samsung into the upcoming settlement talks, although there isn’t any guarantee the discussions will resolve the court battles.