Is an agreement between the parties even possible?
Samsung and Apple have been going after each other in a war over intellectual property and centers around various patent infringement cases each has filed against each other around the globe. Each side has won some battles and the war is far from over at this point. At last count, according to All Things D, there are “50 lawsuit battles” going on. If you do some research, you can find that these are going on in 10 different countries around the world. Some of the most publicized ones have been in Germany where Samsung has not won as many battles as Apple has there.
Now there are court ordered mediation discussions to take place on May 21st and 22nd in Northern California. This is to involve the CEO’s of each company, Tim Cook and Gee-Sung Choi. Judge Joseph C. Spero will moderate the discussions and be a neutral 3rd party to the process. The recent comments from Tim Cook seem to indicate they want to end the unending court litigation, but he is more than willing to stand his ground to protect Apple. All of it seems like it will be a miracle if both parties are able to come so some sort of agreement out of this process.
The next milestone in this process is both sides are to submit documents on May 9th to Judge Spero. In that, they are to put together an evaluation of the “likelihood of prevailing on the claims and defenses”. Those documents may be very telling as to just how likely the mediation process will go on May 21st. If these discussions do not come to an agreement, the lawsuit trial begins this summer in a Norther California courtroom.
Is it reasonable to believe that these two giants might be able to settle their differences? My best guess would be to say no. They have a business relationship where Samsung is providing components to Apple. This relationship has been maintained in spite of all the litigation which is going on around the world. It is though they are married and trying to get a divorce and both parties want to have things their way. It reminds me of an old movie I recently saw called “War of the Roses”. In that movie, each party wanted the other party to leave and take nothing with them. In the end, both of the people died and did not survive. While the situation between Apple and Samsung will not end that tragically, neither side seems willing to budge from their view points.
Do you think Apple and Samsung will be able to come up with a settlement out of this mediation?