During Apple’s recent earnings conference call, CEO Tim Cook, when asked about Apple’s cash situation as it relates to the multitude of lawsuits it’s currently embroiled in, explained that he has always hated litigation and would prefer to settle legal disputes amicably rather than via the court system.
At the same time, Cook explained that Apple can’t be the developer for the world and that companies need to work on inventing their own stuff, not simply copying Apple.
In light of that, it’s worth nothing that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Gee-Sung Choi recently agreed to engage in alternative dispute resolution via a suggestion from Judge Lucy Koh where the two head honchos will attempt to hammer out a patent related settlement agreement. Samsung has been quite brazen in its efforts to copy Apple’s iOS software and hardware design, we think, so we wouldn’t bet on any big announcement coming out of the meeting which is scheduled to take place on May 21-22 in front of Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero.
FOSS Patents reports:
The meetings will take place in a San Francisco courthouse, while the litigation itself is before the San Jose division of the court… one of the things Magistrate Judge Spero wants the parties to do is to provide a settlement statement until May 9 including, among other things, “a candid evaluation of the parties’ likelihood of prevailing on the claims and defenses”
Cook might hate litigation, but remember that Steve Jobs in his biography mentioned that Cook may prove to be a better negotiator than himself, noting that Cook is a “cool customer.”
Per all settlement negotiations, the contents of the aforementioned meeting, including all proffered settlement offers, will remain highly confidential.
In any event, with legal battles spanning the globe across 10 different countries (and numbering 50 separate actions in total according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents), coming to an all-encompassing agreement seems like a long shot. Or, on the flipside, that may give both parties all the more incentive to settle.
But lastly, remember that Apple actually did try and settle with Samsung before taking matters to the courts. The Verge reported about a month ago that Apple, in the months preceding their initial April 2011 lawsuit against Samsung, tried 4 times to come to an agreement with Samsung in an effort to stave off litigation, including meetings where in both Cupertino and Korea where Apple presented “its infringement allegations with comparison photographs and patent claim charts.”