It has been speculated for quite some time that authorities may soon have to intervene in the increasingly ridiculous patent wars taking place between some of the larger firms within the mobile market and, shortly after threats from the EU competition chief to introduce large fines and reforms, a US judge ordered corporate giants, Apple and Samsung, to take part in a settlement conference led by a magistrate judge.
"Samsung and Apple have agreed to participate in a magistrate judge settlement conference, this settlement conference will take place within 90 days, with the presence of each party's chief executive officer and general counsel." stated Samsung to the BBC, confirming that the conference will indeed take place within the next three months, with chief executives from both sides to be present.
Patent systems throughout the world are put in place to ensure that compensation is received for the money and effort involved in developing new technologies, however, more recently, firms in the mobile segment have been using patents to quash competition by withholding licensing or by offering unfair licensing terms on patented technology. The matter is further convoluted, particularly in respect to Apple, who also relies on software and design patents, areas that are poorly defined or in some cases not defined at all within law, leading to confusion and lengthy legal battles.
Let's hope that within the next three-to-four months, the two firms will be able to find some common ground and that we will see an end to the constant legal battling that may resonate to other companies within the sector. However, it does feel like wishful thinking.