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Apple and Samsung bosses go face-to-face to end patent war

Apple boss Tim Cook and Samsung chief Choi Gee-sung will meet face-to-face to try and end the legal dispute over patents.

Bosses of Apple and Samsung have agreed to a sit-down to try and resolve their bitter war over technology patents.

Reuters reports a San Francisco judge will referee the meeting between the two technology giants, currently locked in international legal warfare over similarities between their tablets and smart phones.

Apple boss Tim Cook and Samsung chief Choi Gee-sung will meet face-to-face in the next 90 days, potentially heading off a US trial scheduled for July. Maybe they'll arm-wrestle for it -- either that or stash a gun in the loo. I don't want my CEO coming out of that toilet with just his smart phone in his hands, alright?

At issue is Apple's contention that Samsung Galaxy smart phones and Galaxy Tab tablets copy the market-leading iPhone and iPad. Both sides have gone to court in various countries to claim that the other is violating their patents -- like copyright for inventions -- in various small details of hardware and software, even managing to ban some products temporarily.

It's not just Samsung in Apple's sights, however. As the most successful manufacturer of phones using Google's Android software, Samsung is the biggest target. Apple founder Steve Jobs declared "thermonuclear war" on Android, and Apple's overall aim is to give Android a kicking. It's also launched patent scraps against HTC, Motorola and Asus.

HTC and LG have agreed to share patents to defend Android, but the 20 court cases have seen assorted skirmishes in 10 countries over such trivialities as push email and even case designs.

It's in the two companies' interests to resolve their diffculties, as -- like many technology companies -- they actually work together behind the scenes. Samsung has long made chips used in some Apple products, for example.

Can Apple and Samsung resolve their difficulties? Is there room for both Galaxy and iDevices on shop shelves? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.