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Consumer Electronics

Apple, Samsung agree to meet for mediation over patent row

Apple and Samsung have taken the sting out of their patent battle by agreeing to meet for a mediation session. Some market experts believe it may be a big move towards an out-of-court settlement between the two giants.

A filing with the US District Court in San Jose showed Thursday the heads of consumer electronics giants Apple and Samsung agreed to meet before February 19, to discuss ways of settling their bitter legal dispute over designs and technologies of smartphones and tablets.

It said Apple CEO Tim Cook and his Samsung counterpart, Kwon Oh-Hyun, would attend the session to be overseen by a jointly chosen mediator, with a couple of in-house attorneys to be present. No outside lawyers would be allowed.

The agreement was reached in response to a court order to submit a mediation proposal before a new trial in March of this year.

Eternal rivalry

Advertizers take on smartphones

Many market experts viewed the news as an indication the two companies would ultimately settle their patent lawsuits out of court.

The two top smartphone makers have waged legal battles over mobile devices since Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPhone and the iPad.

But Apple's allegations have not prevented the South Korean manufacturer from surpassing its US rival's sales figures in several key markets.

hg/msh (AFP, AP)

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