Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. told a judge they again failed to settle their dispute over smartphone technology, with their next trial in federal court in California set to begin March 31.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun and other executives from both companies attended a full-day session with a mediator in the first week of February, and representatives from both sides had several follow-up phone calls with the mediator, according to a joint status report filed late yesterday.
“Notwithstanding these efforts, the mediator’s settlement proposal to the parties was unsuccessful,” Apple and Samsung said in their report to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, who had urged them to pursue settlement talks before the trial. “Parties remain willing to work through the mediator jointly selected by the parties.”
The world’s top two smartphone makers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees on claims of copying each other’s features in a global battle to dominate the market.
“Even though Apple seems to be winning across the board in courtrooms, they’re not winning in the marketplace,” Stanford Law School professor Mark A. Lemley said in an interview before the report was filed.
“Favorable verdicts, rulings and even court orders blocking the sales of Samsung products don’t seem to be slowing Samsung’s momentum very much,” he said.
Samsung accounted for 28.8 percent of global smartphone shipments in the three months ended Dec. 31, down from 29.1 percent a year earlier, Framingham, Massachusetts-based market researcher IDC said in a Jan. 27 statement. Apple’s share fell to 17.9 percent from 20.9 percent.
Apple and Samsung previously tried and failed to reach an agreement in court-ordered settlement negotiations. In 2012, in their first patent-infringement case in San Jose, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero handled negotiations. (Bloomberg)