Apple and Samsung’s long-standing court-clogging feuds over patent technology and other tiresome issues may be taking a turn as they soon meet with legal mediation to get some of this crap worked out… or at least simmer it down a bit. Both Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung’s Choi Gee-sung have been instructed by a federal judge to move their disputes to mediation. And when the judge said “Tim Cook and Choi Gee-Sung”, he didn’t mean their subordinates and lawyers. He meant the two CEOs. Getting the head potatoes into court to talk face to face seems to be a new approach in the courts for companies that can’t make any headway with their problems otherwise. According to Reuters, it’s sort of a legal version of therapy:
Since lawyers can often get emotional in the heat of litigation and may grow to dislike each other, bringing a decision-maker from above the fray makes sense, said Wayne Brazil, a former U.S. magistrate who founded the federal court’s alternative dispute resolution program in northern California.
Apple has accused Samsung of “slavishly” ripping off the iPhone and iOS, and Samsung has accused Apple in return of multiple patent violations. It’s not uncommon in this day and age for tech companies to be at each others’ throats over patents, but Apple and Samsung have provided a rather fearsome Goliath vs Goliath example of how intractable those battles can be. It would be a nice precedent to set if this mediation broke through the logjam and took these court cases out of the headlines for a while.