Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics have agreed to attend a mediation session that would be held before 19 February, as they prepare to face each other off in court over smartphone patents.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon would attend the session with in-house lawyers only, according to a court filing yesterday. The legal teams of the two companies had met on 6 January to "discuss settlement opportunities," the filing said.
The Apple, Samsung stand-off involves smartphone patents across several countries, which is a reflection of their global battle for supremacy in the mobile device market, according to commentators.
The technology rivals would face a trial in March, in the US over Apple's claims that its patents had been infringed by Samsung.
The last two years had seen Apple and Samsung go to trial twice in San Jose, California federal court.
According court documents filed in December, Apple had paid its leading outside law firm approximately $60 million to wage patent litigation against Samsung.
Meanwhile, Cook and Oh-Hyun Known would attend the mediation with three to four in-house counsel by or before 19 February. No outside counsel would attend, according to a joint court filing by the companies' attorneys.
According to the filing yesterday in US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division senior legal executives from Apple and Samsung met in person on Monday to discuss settlement opportunities. They also agreed upon a mediator ''who has experience mediating high profile disputes.''
The court had ordered the companies on 13 November to submit a proposal regarding settlement discussions before the March 2014 trial, according to the filing.
The mediation meeting followed unconfirmed reports that the two companies were seeking to settle some of their patent disputes in various courts. However, similar mediation effort had not proved successful earlier.
The two companies had several patent disputes including another in the same court.
Meanwhile, a jury in the California court awarded damages to Apple of US$1.05 billion in 2012, after its decision, that Samsung had infringed on Apple's patents in its products.
The damages were cut in a second trial last year, but Samsung would be required to pay Apple about $930 million.