Seven Year-Long Patent Infringement Battle Settled By Apple And Samsung

The legal patent infringement fight between Apple and Samsung that had dragged on for seven years have been just ended by the companies.

Court documents filed on Wednesday by the companies show that the two companies have agreed to a settlement in the case. However, no details of the settlement were immediately available.

In 2011, Apple accused Samsung “slavishly” copying some of the design and software features of the iPhone. The two companies had been fighting it out the accusations in court since. In May, Apple was given a compensation of $539 million by a jury. Following that verdict, Samsung had still to pay Apple an outstanding balance of $140 million. The settlement however does not clear what part of that amount would go to Apple.

There have been several rulings and appeals in the case which cost hundreds of millions of dollars for both the companies, the two largest smartphone makers in the world, in litigating costs. Samsung was ordered to pay up over $1 billion in damages for copying a number of features of hardware and software of the iPhone and iPad in a ruling by a jury in 2012. That penalty was later reduced by $450 million by a federal judge.

Ultimately, an appeals court ruling directing Samsung to pay $399 million for patent infringement to Apple was over ruled in 2016 when the case came up for hearing in the Supreme Court.  The case was sent back to lower courts to work out the financial penalty.

There were no comments available from Apple on the news except for referring back to a statement that the company has made last month after the jury award.

“This case has always been about more than money,” the company said at the time. “Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple.”

There were no comments available from Samsung.

The court ruled that Samsung had violated the majority of the patents in the case which included some software features such as double-tap zooming and scrolling. It was laso found that hardware style or icon setup had also been infringed upon in many of the Samsung models.

Although “Apple won most of the battles,” Samsung found a way to “design around” the patents that Apple claimed the South Korean company had copied, said Michael Risch, a patent law professor at Villanova University.

“One lesson is consumers will drive tech more than patents. Samsung went where it thought consumers wanted … and Apple stayed with its distinctive smaller shape for a much longer period than Samsung,” Risch said. “Sometimes patent can drive innovation in ways we may not have expected.”

(Adapted from Money.CNN.com)

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Categories: Economy & Finance, Regulations & Legal, Uncategorized

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