No settlement for Apple, Samsung on US patent row

February 22
4:40 PM 2014

Tech giants Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co informed the court that they were not able to reach a settlement regarding their row about smartphone technology, Bloomberg reported.

A joint status report from both firms submitted late yesterday revealed that executives from both companies, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-Kyun, were present at a meeting held with a mediator on the first week of this month. The mediator also called up representatives from both parties several times but the sides failed to reach an agreement, the report said.

In the report they gave to US District Judge Lucy Koh, the two companies said, "Notwithstanding these efforts, the mediator's settlement proposal to the parties was unsuccessful." However, Apple and Samsung said they were still "willing to work through the mediator jointly selected by the parties."

Judge Koh had encouraged both firms to hold settlement talks before their next trial slated to start on March 31 in a California federal court. Legal fees of both Apple and Samsung have reached hundreds of millions of dollars as they sue each other on claims that one infringed on the other's features in their quest to become the market leader, the report said.

In an interview with Bloomberg before the joint report from the two firms was filed, Stanford Law School Professor Mark A. Lemley observed that while Apple appears to be winning across the board in courtrooms, "they're not winning in the marketplace." He added that verdicts and rulings in favor of Apple and court orders that prevented the product sales of its South Korea-based rival "don't seem to be slowing Samsung's momentum very much."

Both companies have also tried but failed to come to an agreement in settlement negotiations ordered by the court in 2012 and 2011, the report said. 

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