In early January, Apple and Samsung agreed to try to go to mediation ahead of their second U.S. lawsuit that’s set to start in March, and new reports from South Korea indicate that the two parties have met without reaching a deal. ZDNet Korea has learned that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung’s mobile division chief JK Shin met in the US, although the meeting has not been confirmed.
A Samsung spokesperson said that “we can’t confirm whether the two CEOs met, or if they did, what the results were.” The two parties had to meet before February 19, to discuss their legal predicament. Chosun, a second publication from the region, says that Shin is currently in Korea and has no plans to travel before February 19, suggesting that the two execs have already talked.
The fact Apple and Samsung have not resolved their conflict sort-of amicably isn’t necessarily surprising considering that the two giants met in previous court-ordered talks in previous years without being able to settle their ongoing patent dispute. Since then, Apple crushed Samsung in the first U.S. patent fight, with the South Korean company having to pay around $930 million in damages.
So far, Apple has settled mobile patent disputes with competitors including Nokia – which may have been the only lawsuit the iPhone maker may have not been able to win – and HTC, whom it defeated numerous times before an agreement was reached. For what it’s worth, Nokia also crushed HTC in various patent battles, forcing the latter to settle.
Samsung, meanwhile, has inked a deal with Microsoft, a company that’s seeing large profits from Android, after striking such deals with multiple Android device makers. The Android maker also reached a settlement with a rival from back home, LG, last year in a patent squabble that was also related to mobile devices. Since then Samsung has inked a complex patent deal with Google, which could help it further protect its mobile products.
The second Apple vs Samsung two-way lawsuit is even more important than the first one for the mobile landscape, as it concerns newer devices, and any patent violation verdict may affect the last-gen smartphones and tablets, even if they’re not part of the actual trial.