An American judge has ordered the CEOs of Apple and Samsung to a face-to-face mediation session to try to settle their differences over smartphone technology.
Judge Lucy Koh, in Federal Court in San Jose, California, gave Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Gee-Sung Choi 90 days to hold a settlement conference with Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero.
Koh's order says, "As the parties have indicated in their joint statement, the chief executive officer and general counsel of Apple and the chief executive officer and general counsel of Samsung shall appear and participate" at the mediation session.
Apple sued Samsung last April, saying Samsung's Galaxy phones and Galaxy Tab tablet computers infringed patents and the trademarked look and shape of the iPhone and iPad.The American company said Samsung's Android-powered devices "slavishly" copied Apple's iPhones and iPads.
Samsung counter-sued Apple, claiming the Cupertino company infringed on its technology patents. Since then, the two have been in a global intellectual property battle. The case is expected to go to trial in July.
Some legal experts said that getting the two bosses together "could change the dynamic of the conversation" but others thought the two were dug in too deep.
Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson, "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this."
It's hard to know whether Cook will be more conciliatory than the late Apple founder, said the Christian Science Monitor.
Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a close follower of Apple , said , "At the moment, Apple has not shown they are willing to have any give or take on this issue, and it doesn't appear Samsung is willing to have any give or take."