* Apple and Samsung battling over smartphone patents
* Apple is also large Samsung customer
* "Can't we all just get along here?" - judge
By Dan Levine
SAN JOSE, Calif., June 17 Executives "at the
highest levels" of Apple Corp (AAPL.O) and Samsung Electronics
Co Ltd (140700.KS) are in talks about patent litigation between
the two companies, a lawyer for Apple said in court.
The disclosure came during a hearing on Friday in the
battle over the highly lucrative smartphone and tablet markets,
jump-started by Apple's iPhone and iPad.
Apple sued Samsung in April, claiming Samsung's Galaxy line
of smartphones and tablets infringe several patents and
trademarks. Samsung then countersued, asserting its own patents
Apple was Samsung's second-biggest customer last year after
Sony, accounting for about $5.7 billion of sales to Samsung
mainly by purchasing semiconductors, according to Samsung's
At a hearing on Friday in a San Jose, Calif. federal court,
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh referenced the close business
relationship between the two companies.
"Can't we all just get along here?" asked Koh, who
suggested the companies try to resolve the case through
alternative dispute resolution outside of court.
"I will send you with box of chocolates, whatever," Koh
In response, Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said the case
has gotten the attention of executives "at the highest levels"
of the two companies.
"Can we get them together?" Koh asked.
"They are in fact meeting and talking," McElhinny said,
An Apple spokesman declined to comment, and a Samsung
representative did not immediately respond to requests for
Samsung's Galaxy products use Google's (GOOG.O) Android
operating system, which directly competes with Apple's mobile
Late last month, Samsung filed a request for Apple to hand
over the unreleased versions of the iPhone and iPad, saying it
would be "highly relevant" to its defense. A judge had already
ordered Samsung to produce similar materials to Apple, Samsung
attorneys argued in court filings.
Apple opposed the request, saying it was an attempt to
"harass" Apple into disclosing extremely sensitive trade
Koh heard arguments on that issue on Friday but did not
rule from the bench.
Apple also amended its complaint against Samsung late on
Thursday night, asserting additional patents against Samsung.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of
California is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al,
(Additional reporting by Poornima Gupta; editing by Carol