Apple and Samsung finally agree on a mediator in patent disputes
Apple and Samsung have agreed to a mediator in an effort to resolve their patent disputes over smartphone technology, says Bloomberg. The idea is to have the mediator - who is unnamed -in place before their next trial in San Jose, California,which begins in March. The agreement, filed in federal court in San Jose yesterday, was in response to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s request in November that both sides submit a settlement discussion proposal before trial. Senior legal executives at the companies met on January 6 to discuss “settlement opportunities,” according to the proposal. The companies have agreed, said Bloomberg, to retain a mediator “who has experience mediating high profile disputes,” according to the filing, which doesn’t name the person. The chief executive officers and three to four company lawyers, but no outside lawyers, 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. Apple last month asked Koh to bar sales of more than 20 smartphones and tablets that a jury in 2012 found infringed Apple’s patents. Total damages owed by Samsung in that case are $930 million. Neither side was commenting last night.