An anonymous reader writes "The smartphone and tablet rivals will work with a mediator in an effort to settle their patent disputes in advance of a second trial on the issues scheduled for this spring, according to Bloomberg News. The agreement, filed in federal court in San Jose today, was in response to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh's request in November that both sides submit a settlement discussion proposal before trial. Senior legal executives at the companies met Jan. 6 to discuss 'settlement opportunities,' according to the proposal. The companies agreed to retain a mediator 'who has experience mediating high profile disputes,' according to the filing, which doesn't name the person. The chief executive officers and three to four company lawyers, but no outside lawyers, will attend the mediation before Feb. 19, according to the filing."