Apple and Samsung end patent fight after seven long years

Helen Aguilar
June 28, 2018

San Francisco, Apple and Samsung have made a decision to end their epic patent infringement battle that began in 2011 and went all the way to the US Supreme Court.

That document, filed with the Northern District Court of California, confirmed that the Apple and Samsung would "settle their remaining claims and counterclaims in this matter".

The patent dispute between Apple and Samsung is by far the most publicised and most expensive legal dispute of the tech world.

In its 2011 complaint, Apple wrote: "Instead of pursuing independent product development, Samsung has chosen to slavishly copy Apple's innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design, in violation of Apple's valuable intellectual property rights". The terms of the settlement were not disclosed in the court filing. The case began with the iPhone 3GS and the Galaxy S i9000: since then, both Apple and Samsung have completely reinvented their software and hardware styling.

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The legal consensus seems to be that Samsung has indeed copied many of Apple's patents, so the battle has mostly come down to how much Samsung owes. "It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple", the iPhone maker said in a statement. The settlement follows a damages retrial in which Apple won a US$539-million jury award in May. It was ordered to pay the U.S. tech giant more than $1 billion for infringing on three of Apple's design patents related to mobile devices - the quick links to phone numbers, the slide-to-unlock feature and the auto-correct function.

After appeals and trials, this $1.05 billion amount was reduced, and Samsung agreed to pay some damages.

The three design patents in the case apply to the shape of the iPhone's black screen with rounded edges and a bezel, and the rows of colorful icons displayed.

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