updated 10:00 am EDT, Sat April 28, 2012
Judge schedules Apple and Samsung mediation
The judge mediating settlement talks between Apple and Samsung firmed up details for the proceedings late in the week. Both sides, likely including their CEOs and chief counsels, are expected to meet the mornings of May 21 and 22 in a San Francisco court rather than in the full trials' San Jose venue. The two will additionally have to produce statements by May 9 saying how likely the believe they are to win at trial, although it's unlikely this will produce concessions.
How likely either side might be to settle is undetermined. Apple CEO Tim Cook has lately signaled that he prefers to settle when he can, but he has still argued that companies ought to stop copying, implying that legal action might not stop without a promise of changes from Samsung. The Korean company has meanwhile vowed "no compromise" with Apple despite all its lawsuits being countersuits, although whether the statement was sincere or for show isn't known.
Collectively, the companies now have a total of 50 lawsuits spread across 10 countries. The procedures have been considered big gambles on either side, as a refusal to settle could see devices on both sides banned, or potentially stalemates where neither side gets a significant permanent ban against the other's products. It's believed that the sheer scale of Apple's lawsuits was itself meant to press Samsung into settling quickly.
The late Steve Jobs' biography suggested that a settlement might not have even been an option during his era as CEO. He considered Android inherently copied and wanted "thermonuclear war" on the OS to either put an end to the OS or force a fundamental change. [via Florian Mueller]