Judge asks Apple and Samsung to strike their own deal

If Lucy Koh pulls this one off, we’ll have to ask her to sort out the Middle East.

The judge, who’s overseeing the Apple/Samsung patent case in New York, has asked the CEOs of the two companies, Tim Cook and Choi Gee Sung, to get together one more time and try and thrash things out for themselves.

“It’s time for peace,” she pleaded, says Reuters.

Koh pointed out that sorting matters out between them could prove a lot less risky than going ahead with a jury trial, given the jury’s limited understanding of the patent issues.

Just last week, a Californian judge overturned a jury’s patent ruling against RIM which would have seen massive royalty payments become the norm – adding hundreds of not even thousands of dollars to the price of a phone.

But Koh’s efforts at mediation have failed so far, with the conflict continuing to escalate.

Apple’s accused Samsung of widespread copying of the design and features of the iPhone and iPad. Samsung, in turn, says Apple’s infringed some of its patents. Apple’s calling for a whopping $2.52 billion in damages.

Samsung denies copying – but internal documents have now surfaced which appear to show that’s exactly what was going on.

“Despite the imponderabilities of jury trials, it’s hard to imagine that Samsung has too much credibility left with the jury at this stage,” comments patent expert Florian Mueller.