Apple and Samsung attempt Mediation in Ongoing Legal War

by Matt Klassen on May 25, 2012

As Apple and Samsung continue to compete for the top spot in global mobile sales, even as the two companies work closely in the production of many of Apple’s market dominating devices, there is a distinct dark side to the relationship between the two firms. In fact, with a relationship so filled with vehement and discord, it’s the sort of tumultuous yet dependent train wreck that only the likes of Jerry Springer could mediate.

But in an effort to avoid former midday talk show hosts, during a brief respite between the seemingly endless rounds of knock-down, drag-out legal litigation between the global smartphone superpowers, a U.S. judge ordered the CEOs of both companies to engage in a face-to-face meeting in an effort to resolve their multifaceted war of attrition.

The result, as one might expect, was that after this court ordered breather both companies left the meeting as stalwartly committed to their likely pointless and almost certainly endless legal war. Let’s see if Maury Povich is available.

It’s an endless legal war that has been played out in courtrooms around the world for several years now, with Apple claiming landmark victories in some countries, only to see Samsung awarded similar decisions in others. In fact, one estimate places the current number of legal proceedings between the two companies at 20, spread across at least 10 countries. If it wasn’t actually the relatively mundane and lacklustre legal process we were talking about here, such an epic global corporate battle would truly be a fight for the ages.

So, with a court order to attempt to resolve the ongoing disputes between their respective companies, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Choi Gee-Sung met recently, spending a reported nine hours in face-to-face talks over the course of two days. Accompanied by their respective cadres of attorneys, the two men likely took the opportunity to clearly articulate their issues, but it was all for not.

The truth is, as with many mediation cases, unless the companies have been ordered to find some common ground, such meetings are rarely successful. If either of these companies really wanted to end this legal war of attrition they would have done so without the assistance of a judge, meaning that as this fight enters is next round, both companies seem as committed as ever.

But that doesn’t mean the meeting was a complete failure. As anyone ever party to the mediation process knows, there are degrees of success, meaning that even if this meeting didn’t result in renewed mutual respect or hugs and high-fives, if both sides were able to better articulate their issues and streamline the discord between their respective companies, then one might call it a mitigated victory.

Perhaps in all this, though, you’re still wondering what the endgame is for either company, what they hope to get out of this ongoing legal fight. While on the face of it the fight is about infringement of intellectual property rights, it seems both companies are using this legal forum to attempt to hamstring the other, hoping that the other’s products will be banned from certain—better yet, all—global markets…a truly pointless fight indeed.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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