Apple, Samsung Ordered Into Patent Settlement Conference

The chief executive officers of Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. were ordered to attend a settlement conference in their patent dispute before a federal court in San Jose, California.

Both companies told the court they are willing to participate in the settlement conference, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose wrote in yesterday’s order. The CEO and general counsel of each company will appear, according to the filing. Samsung confirmed in an e-mailed statement today that the companies have agreed to participate and said the meeting will take place within 90 days.

Apple claims that Samsung’s 4G smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer, among other products, infringe its patents. In December, Koh ruled against Apple’s request to block Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung from selling that phone and tablet in the U.S. That order followed an Australian court ruling lifting an injunction on the tablet there.

Samsung, which was the world’s largest seller of smartphones last year, and Cupertino, California-based Apple have filed at least 30 lawsuits against each other on four continents since April.

Though the companies said in a joint April 16 filing they are willing to participate in the conference with Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero, both sides said they are continuing to narrow the case for a scheduled Aug. 25 trial.

Expert Challenges

Both companies said they intend to challenge expert testimony, with Samsung arguing that Apple’s experts submitted testimony falling short of evidentiary standards.

One Apple expert explained how the company’s product design “allows people a feeling of symbiosis with their electronic tools” and includes anecdotes about his vacation in Spain, according to the filing.

Such testimony is “not ‘expert’ in any sense,” Samsung said in the filing. “Several other reports also suffer from irrelevance and methodology flaws,” the company said.

Nam Ki Yung, a Seoul-based Samsung spokesman, declined to comment beyond today’s statement.

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, didn’t immediately return a call or e-mail seeking comment on the settlement conference and Samsung’s criticism of the experts.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 11- 01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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