Apple and Samsung may finally be able to play nice after all, as an Apple lawyer revealed on Friday that ultra high-level executives from both companies have been in talks over the patent dispute. The disclosure relieved no one more than U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who has been asking the two tech giants to figure it out already.
“Can’t we all just get along here?” asked Koh, suggesting that the two companies settle their patent battle outside of the court system. “I’ll send you with a box of chocolates, whatever.” Apple’s attorney Harold McElhinny responded by saying that “executives at the highest levels” of the companies are paying attention to the case. “Can we get them together?” asked Koh. To that, McElhinny claimed that “they are in fact meeting and talking,” without delving into any further details.
Apple and Samsung have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. Apple is Samsung’s second largest customer, buying semiconductors for its iPad and iPad 2 products. It would take a pretty high level of discord between the companies to throw that relationship off balance, but there’s no telling how these covert meetings will affect the case.
For a little refresher, the case began with Apple filing a patent infringement suit against Samsung in April over certain Galaxy and Infuse products that mimic Apple’s look and feel. Samsung retaliated by asserting its own patents against Apple, and from there it’s been a back-and-forth struggle. Apple asked to examine five Samsung devices, including phones and tablets. Of course, Samsung did the same, and asked to see the iPad 3 and the iPhone 5. While Samsung was ordered by Judge Koh to hand over its products, Apple has yet to be given the same order, and called Samsung’s request harassment. The most recent update to the case came last week, when Apple added a whopping seven Samsung devices to its list of copycats.