Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (KRX: 005930) have agreed to explore the mediation route to resolve ongoing patent litigations between the two companies, ahead of a court hearing in March.
The move comes after a court directed the two companies to submit a proposal for mediation before battling it out in the March trial. An attempt at mediation is not a new thing for the two companies, which have tried to go down this path before to resolve patent disputes, but have so far been unsuccessful at reaching an agreement.
According to a Wednesday court filing, Tim Cook and Oh-Hyun Kwon -- the chief executives of both companies -- will attend a mediation session along with their in-house counsels on or before Feb. 19, Reuters reported. The filing also said that the two tech giants’ legal teams met on Jan. 6 to "discuss settlement opportunities."
California-based Apple and Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung are locked in a bitter legal battle over a number of patents involving their handsets and tablets in many markets around the world. In the first patent-infringement case filed between the companies in the U.S., a federal jury had ordered Samsung to pay Apple $930 million for violating the American company’s intellectual property rights.
The companies have gone on trial twice in a California court.
Apple has claimed that Samsung has infringed patent rights on a number of its products and, the case that is slated for a March trial includes a set of Apple patents over designs and features used in Samsung's latest smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S3.