Apple and Samsung in shotgun conciliation

A judge has ordered the chief executives of Apple and Samsung together in a shotgun style arrangement to make the two sides see sense.

Apple has been following the religious edict of its founder Steve Jobs to: “Kill Android … And take captive the women of Samsung and their little ones; take as booty all their profits, their technology and all their goods. All their stores, the places where they sold their technology and their factories burned with fire. For Jobs is a just God and he liketh not those who steal his ideas”.

Apple has been using patents to do this and rather than negotiate, it has been demanding that Samsung simply stop selling technology which has not been blessed by Steve Jobs.

However, a San Francisco federal courthouse has seen through this and demanded that Apple’s Tim Cook and Samsung’s Choi Gee-sung sit down for a court-supervised mediation. Apple and Samsung have both said they are willing to participate in the discussions. In other words, it was not exactly their idea.

According to Reutersfederal courts in northern California have been pioneers in pushing litigants toward various forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Apple has also been ordered to go to mediation in other cases. A federal judge in Delaware ordered mediation in a patent dispute between Apple and Taiwanese phone maker HTC.

The hauling into court of the CEOs of big companies to wrestle it out in front of a legal witness is not all it appears. They are still allowed to bring in their team of lawyers who have no interest in letting the other side win.

Samsung executives said that the South Korean technology company still wanted to resolve differences with Apple in the legal dispute.

The pair have had one mediation session but it did not seem to go anywhere. An Apple spokesman was still bleating how the promised land of mobile had been promised to it by Steve Jobs and any smartphone technology was its ark of the covenant as recently as last week.

This week’s session, scheduled for two days, will take place in a federal courtroom 40 miles north of Silicon Valley. US Magistrate judge Joseph Spero will have a tough job and when it comes to technology companies mediation does not work as well as a handgun or a blunt instrument.

Last year, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Google’s Larry Page undertook mediation over Android, but no settlement was reached.

Cook is less of a believer in the powers of Jobs than his predecessor and apparently does not like court much, so there is an outside chance that the two sides will bury the hatchet. But possibly in each other’s heads.