Following Judge Lucy Koh's order that Samsung and Apple must go to mediation to resolve their long-running patent infringement dispute, dates have now been set: May 21st and 22nd. According to FOSS Patents, the companies will meet in a San Francisco court instead of the San Jose venue of the full trial. Additionally, both companies are required to provide statements assessing how likely they believe they will be to win should the trial continue. While magistrate judge Joseph J. Spero will preside over the settlement talks at the court, the mediation process and the statements from the parties will be completely confidential.

The mediation was agreed to by both Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung's Choi Gee-sung following a year-long court case in which each had accused the other of copying the other. Apple initially claimed that Samsung "slavishly" copied its designs, prompting Samsung to countersue saying that the iPhone infringed 10 of its patents. While we already knew that the settlement talks were impending, the speed is remarkable. Judge Koh initially set a deadline of 90 days for the meeting on Aril 17th, but May 21st marks less than half that time — 43 days. Progress!