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Apple, Samsung CEOs agree to mediation over patent dispute

Chief executives for the two smartphone giants will meet in person by February 19 to try to resolve the companies' latest legal fight.

The chief executives of Apple and Samsung have agreed to meet with a mediator to try to resolve some of the companies' ongoing patent disputes.

Executives from the two companies met Monday to discuss settlement opportunities, attorneys for the tech giants reported Wednesday in a filing with the US District Court for Northern California. The discussions were in response to a federal judge's order that the two companies hold settlement talks before a new patent infringement trial is scheduled to begin in March.

The mediation will take place by February 19 with an unidentified mediator who has "experience mediating high profile disputes," the companies said in their filing. In addition to the chief executives, three to four in-house lawyers will attend the mediation; no outside counsel will be in attendance, according to the filing.

CNET has contacted Apple and Samsung for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

In November, before jury election began in a separate patent infringement lawsuit Apple filed against Samsung, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh told both parties that she would like them to try to reach a settlement and that she would prefer the companies' CEOs participate in the talks. She prefaced the request by saying to the attorneys for Apple and Samsung that "you don't have to laugh at me, but even my chambers laughs at me when I mention settlement."

At the time, the parties agreed to submit a proposal by Wednesday.

However, previous attempts between the two companies to talk out their dispute have proven unfruitful. A court-mandated discussion between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Kwon Oh Hyun in August 2012 failed to break the deadlock between the two companies.