Apple, Samsung fail to make nice in settlement talks over patent case

It looks like we may well have another California trial between the two mobile-gadget giants, as efforts to reach a deal fall flat.

Bust out your Samsung pennant, your Apple foam finger, or your Jony Ive bobblehead doll -- it looks like we're in for another patent trial.

In a legal filing Friday, the companies said that during the first week of February, Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-Kyun and other execs from the South Korean consumer-electronics giant met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and a clutch of his cohorts for a full day of mediated negotiation talks. The companies also spoke with the mediator by phone several times after the face-to-face.

"Notwithstanding these efforts," however, the filing reads, "the mediator's settlement proposal to the parties was unsuccessful."

That means the trial may well go ahead as scheduled, starting March 31, though the filing also says the companies "remain willing to work through the mediator."

This would be the second big California trial between the two mobile-gadget behemoths. A dramatic 2012 jury case handed Apple a legal victory over Samsung, to the tune of about $930 million in damages.

This time around, different products would be on the dissecting table, such as Samsung's hit Galaxy S3 smartphone, a fact that could increase the size of a damages award should Samsung again be found guilty of infringement, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

But that might be cold comfort for Apple. Stanford Law School professor Mark A. Lemley told Bloomberg that "even though Apple seems to be winning across the board" in court, "they're not winning in the marketplace" and that pro-Apple verdicts and even bans on the sale of Samsung gadgets "don't seem to be slowing Samsung's momentum very much."

 

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