“Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. agreed to a mediator in an effort to resolve their patent disputes over smartphone technology before their next trial in San Jose, California, set to begin in March,” Joel Rosenblatt reports for Bloomberg. “Senior legal executives at the companies met Jan. 6 to discuss ‘settlement opportunities,’ according to the agreement filed yesterday in federal court in San Jose. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh requested in November that both sides submit a settlement discussion proposal before trial.”

“The companies agreed to retain a mediator ‘who has experience mediating high-profile disputes,’ according to the filing, which doesn’t name the person,” Rosenblatt reports. “The chief executive officers and three to four company lawyers, without any outside attorneys present, will attend the mediation before Feb. 19, according to the filing.”

“Apple and Samsung previously tried and failed to reach agreement in court-ordered settlement negotiations. In 2012, in their first patent-infringement case in San Jose, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero handled negotiations. The companies also met at least twice in 2011 to discuss settling their dispute before the U.S. International Trade Commission, according to a company filing,” Rosenblatt reports. “The world’s top two smartphone makers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees on claims of copying each other’s features in a global battle to dominate the market.”

MacDailyNews Take: Piss poor reporting. Apple is defending design patents. Samsung is abusing standard-essential patents (SEPs) that are supposed to be licensed via fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND), not used in court to attempt to defend the indefensible, obfuscate, delay, and confuse incurious/lazy reporters like Joel Rosenblatt.

“The iPhone-maker last month asked Koh to bar sales of more than 20 smartphones and tablets that a jury in 2012 found to infringe Apple’s patents. Total damages owed by Samsung in that case stand at $930 million,” Rosenblatt reports. “While Koh rejected Cupertino, California-based Apple’s bid for a sales ban on the infringing Samsung devices after the 2012 verdict, a federal appeals court on Nov. 18 cleared the way for the company to pursue an injunction targeting some Samsung products. Apple’s second case against Samsung in San Jose is over newer models, including Samsung’s Galaxy S III.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another court-imposed, time-wasting Koh-delay.

We can just imagine how these latest mediation talks will go:

Apple: “Stop stealing our patented IP and immediately pay us the billions of dollars you owe us that you made selling infringing iPhone- and iPad-wannabes. And apologize to us in British newspapers while you’re at it.”

Samsung: “Pay us 15x the normal rate for every one of our SEPs that you are using. We have not infringed any patents. We are the smartphone and tablet innovators. You don’t own rounded corners. By the way, thanks for this year’s $15 billion chip and display order.” (muttering “suckers” under their breath)

High-profile Mediator: “Where’s the nearest window ledge?”

Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:
Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

Related article:
Judge Koh to hold hearing on Apple’s renewed injunction bid against Samsung on January 30th – January 8, 2014
Judge urges Apple and Samsung to settle ahead of verdict – August 15, 2012
Why Samsung must negotiate and why Apple won’t settle – May 21, 2012