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Samsung and Apple to Mediate Longstanding Patent Disputes

September 29, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Apple has been around as a company selling consumer electronics or a long, long time as has Samsung. When two giants like these end up crossing paths, things tend to get longwinded and very lengthy. That’s exactly what has happened between Apple and Samsung for the past few years now. Apple, the benevolent inventor of everything, took issue with the way that Samsung was advertising and packaging their Galaxy S products, which resulted in one of the biggest technology lawsuits in history a few years ago. Apple won the original lawsuit which ordered Samsung to pay Apple damages to the tune of $1.05 Billion, but since then the pair have been going back and forth arguing over this figure and other counterclaims, until now.

Attorneys representing both Apple and Samsung have submitted a statement of intent to the District Court for the Northern District of California which states that the two agree to court-supervised mediation. The statement is as follows:

“Pursuant to the September 18, 2015, Case Management Order (Dkt. No. 3289), the parties jointly submit this update on alternative dispute resolution. The parties are willing to mediate with Judge Spero with a settlement conference deadline of November 15, 2015, and are conferring on scheduling.”

This would come to some as a surprise, as both Apple and Samsung have seemed unwilling to meet in the middle for years now. With arguments ranging from the notion that Apple should never have been awarded such broad patents in the first place, to Samsung filing strong counterclaims, it’s been a lengthy process of back and forth between both parties. Judge Lucy Koh has been presiding over the case since 2012, and a second retrial of the original is schedule for some time next Spring, but this mediation could be a sign of things coming to an end. From an outsiders perspective, Galaxy devices and iPhones have not looked the same for years now, and if Apple were going to go after everyone with a large touchscreen dominating the front of a device, then they would have sued everyone by now. Steve Jobs passionately wanted to destroy Android, and while it took them some time, Apple put together a solid case against Samsung and aimed their sights at the most successful manufacturer of Android devices.

Things have changed since then, and while this is probably not the start of a beautiful friendship, it does finally look like a credible step to ending things in the courts and getting on with things outside of the courtroom.