Samsung CEO Said to Speak With Apple Today About Suit

Samsung Electronics Co.’s chief executive officer will talk with his counterpart at Apple Inc. to see whether they can resolve their smartphone patent dispute before a U.S. jury begins deliberating, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The companies’ lawyers will report to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in federal court in San Jose, California, on the outcome of today’s telephone discussion between Apple’s Tim Cook and Samsung’s Kwon Oh Hyun, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, sued Samsung in April 2011, accusing it of copying patented designs for mobile devices, and Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung countersued. The case is the first to go before a federal jury in a battle being waged on four continents for dominance in a smartphone market valued by Bloomberg Industries at $219.1 billion.

As testimony in the trial drew to a close, Koh asked that the CEOs talk, and said she was “pathologically optimistic” they could settle claims over patents for smartphones and tablet computers. Heads of the two companies met before the trial began and were unable to reach a settlement. The two sides reported Aug. 18 that they had made no progress in narrowing the claims in the suit. The two sides are still filing motions with the court about jury instructions and exhibits.

Damages Sought

Samsung is seeking as much as $399 million in royalties from Apple for infringing its patents, according to court testimony. Apple presented testimony that Samsung owed it $2.5 billion to $2.75 billion in damages.

Deliberations could begin as soon as tomorrow, the judge has said.

Nam Ki Yung, a Seoul-based spokesman for Samsung, declined to comment on talks. Steve Dowling, a spokesman at Apple, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment outside of regular business hours.

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

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