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Apple, Samsung brass hats' patent spat chitchat falls flat

Cook and Kwon agree to disagree, place fate in jury's hands

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Apple and Samsung's chief execs have discussed their US patent trial but they weren't able to sort out their differences, a lawyer for the South Korean chaebol said yesterday.

District Judge Lucy Koh asked the pair of warring firms to consider negotiations one more time before the jury gets down to decision-making this week. Samsung stands accused of ripping off Apple's iPhone design for its own mobile products, and has denied any wrongdoing.

Kevin Johnson, one of Sammy's many lawyers, said that iPad touter Tim Cook and Galaxy Tab hawker Kwon Oh Hyun didn't come to any settlement, according to court reporters.

Johnson didn't give any details about the talks or how close the companies had come to sorting things out. But it seems likely that the firms were as far from making up as ever, since they still can't even agree on narrowing the claims in the lawsuit.

Before trial started at the end of July, Apple and Samsung had already attempted negotiations, but the two firms seem too at odds to come to any mutually beneficial agreement that's good for the industry and which would keep competition alive for customers.

Instead, the decisions will be left up to the jury, which will start deliberations after hearing closing arguments from the companies' lawyers today.

Jury members will then go through each phone cited and try to agree on numerous questions as to whether or not each piece of kit could be proven to have infringed specific patents in this extensive verdict form [PDF], and try to agree an answer for every one. ®

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