A date has been set for Apple and Samsung's court-ordered settlement talks -- May 21 and 22, 2012.
While the talks were ordered by Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, they will be overseen by Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero at the San Francisco courthouse.
one of the things Magistrate Judge Spero wants the parties to do is to provide a settlement statement until May 9 including, among other things, "a candid evaluation of the parties' likelihood of prevailing on the claims and defenses" [emphasis NOT mine]. I think this is wishful thinking because the parties won't really say that any of their claims are legally weak, no matter in front of whom these talks take place, but there's no way they would ever express even the slightest skepticism over any of their claims in front of a judge involved with the actual litigation.
Apple and Samsung are currently engaged in 50 lawsuits in 10 countries. They also remain manufacturing partners, with Samsung providing key components for Apple devices like the iPhone and the iPad.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will represent Apple in the talks. Apple's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, reportedly met with Samsung in previous years but was unable to reach a resolution. According to his official biography, his terms were rather absolute:
I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this. [...] I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.
Cook was recently asked if he might be more open to a resolution than Jobs was.
Cooks answer was pretty much the same now as it was before he became CEO — he doesn’t like litigation, but he also doesn’t like other companies using what he feels are Apple innovations to sell competing products. Cook also took it a step further, saying Apple cannot become the developer for the world. Although he didn’t elaborate, it seemed to be along the same theme as previous statements — he believes Apple competitors should invent their own stuff rather than copying Apple.
In other words, we'll hope for the best, but we're not expecting it.
Source: FOSS Patents