Apple and Samsung Pursue Mediation in Ongoing Patent War

by Jeff Wiener on January 14, 2014

It was a pointless fight to begin with, Apple and Samsung locked in a bitter patent war around the world that has seen both sides score wins and suffer losses as they wrestle for the upper-hand in the mobile market. Pointless because it was never going to end, at least not in any way where one company emerged as the clear victor.

Of course the problem with this ongoing worldwide legal battle between Samsung and Apple is that there’s simply no global governing body to decide the fight once and for all, meaning that each decision made in a particular country or jurisdiction is often reversed or reassessed in the region next door. So for every victory that Samsung scores against Apple, Apple scores one right back, making this a pointless exercise for everyone…except the lawyers of course.

Thankfully it seems that both sides have come to the realization that any such war will inevitably be decided jurisdiction by jurisdiction, state by state, country by country, and the scale of this battle seems to have left the top leadership groups of both firms finally ready to talk, as reports indicate both sides are seeking mediation in this ongoing fight.

The segment of the overall patent fight in question here deals with the ruling against Samsung’s Galaxy S3, a decision that favored Apple and left Samsung on the hook for $950 million in damages. The Korean firm, as one would expect, appealed the decision, and that appeal is slated for March of this year. Before that time, however, both sides have agreed to mediation in February, an attempt to finally settle this ongoing dispute and finally relieve the pressure on writers such as myself to make this content interesting.

Its not uncommon, however, for companies to engage in mediation talks begrudgingly, seeing them as a waste of time with little hope for delivering a satisfactory result, attending them more for show than out of any real hope for resolution. As David Newman, an attorney with Arnstein & Lehr explains. “In those instances, just the outside lawyers and some low-level business person attends.”

In this case, however, “the fact that CEOs and in-house attorneys are attending this meeting makes me think they’re taking this seriously,” Newman added.

“If the CEOs are involved, that tells me the meeting is serious; when you add to that outside counsel is not there — it’s inside counsel — that suggests this is coming from the business people rather than the lawyers, and there’s some real motivation to work this out,” Mark McKenna, a professor of law atNotre DameLawSchool, told the E-Commerce Times.

Indeed the news that the top leadership of both companies would be engaging in this mediation process is nothing but good news, evidence that both sides see an advantage to finding resolution and moving forward, and both see the utter folly in continuing to pay the legal fees for a fight that will never be won.

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