Judge Koh made the request before proceedings began on Wednesday, saying "it's time for peace" in the ongoing Apple and Samsung patent dispute, which could have dear repercussions for one or both of the companies.
According to Reuters, after Judge Koh's urging to make peace, she said, "I see risks here to both sides if [the jury] goes to a verdict." Apple is seeking not only a sales ban of certain Samsung products alleged to have infringed on iPhone and iPad design and utility patents, but also monetary damages which could amount to over $2.5 billion.
Samsung has countered with its own claims, saying some of Apple's products infringe on wireless patents held by the South Korean company. Witnesses slated to take the stand later on Wednesday, including technical testimony from Tim Williams, will be speaking to that point.
Along with the settlement talk suggestion, Judge Koh once again asked the parties to narrow their respective cases before they reach the jury. "If you all want to keep overreaching that's up to you," Judge Koh said, according to an in-court tweet from Reuters reporter Dan Levine.
U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh.
Source: U.S. District Court
Apple CEO Tim Cook and top Samsung executives already met to discuss possible settlement options in the past in court-ordered mediation, but the meetings bore no fruit. During Apple's second quarter 2012 conference call, Cook said he would rather settle the litigation, but at the same time vowed to defend the company's intellectual property if need be.
"I've always hated litigation, and I continue to hate it," Cook said, noting that if there was a guarantee against future patent infringement he would "highly prefer to settle versus battle."
The Apple v. Samsung U.S. trial is scheduled to wrap up testimony this week, with jury deliberation coming after closing arguments are completed next Tuesday.