Apple, Samsung CEOs speak but fail to reach settlement

Presiding judge in the high-stakes patent-infringement lawsuit had asked the two executives to discuss a last-minute resolution to their dispute.

James Martin/CNET

The attempt to goad Apple and Samsung into settling at least part of their ongoing patent dispute has apparently been fruitless.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Kwon Oh Hyun were asked by U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh to discuss possible resolutions of their patent litigation, which is nearly in jurors' hands. However, that conversation failed to break the deadlock between the two companies.

"The CEOs did speak... [but] there was no resolution," Samsung counsel Kevin Johnson told Koh late this afternoon.

The court-mandated conversation was an 11th-hour attempt to settle the companies' high-stakes charges before closing arguments begin tomorrow. The two sides met in person twice as part of court-mandated settlement talks ahead of the trial. Koh instructed the chief executives at both companies last week to meet once more as a last-ditch effort, saying it was "time for peace."

Upon the conclusion of counsels' closing arguments, the nine-person jury will receive a 100-page deliberation instruction document, which is expected to take a couple of hours to read.

Jurors will also receive a 21-page tentative verdict form from which they must pick which devices from either side infringe on various patents, a document that Koh is concerned will confuse jurors because it was "so complex."

"I am worried we might have a seriously confused jury here," Koh told legal counsel from both companies today. "I have trouble understanding this, and I have spent a little more time with this than they have."

Jurors will also face the tedious task of assigning damages, a tally that ranges from millions to billions of dollars based on which expert report is used as the guideline.

Apple sued Samsung in 2011, claiming that Samsung copied "the look and feel" of its iPad tablet and iPhone smartphone, costing it more than $2.5 billion. Samsung countersued, claiming Apple infringed on some of its patents.

CNET's Josh Lowensohn contributed to this report from San Jose, Calif.

 

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