Apple & Samsung Have Settled Their 7-Year Patent Infringement Conflict

Apple and Samsung have finally put their 7-year quarrel regarding patent infringement to rest. The settlement effectively nullifies a dispute that started in 2011, when Apple accused Samsung “slavishly” copying the iPhone’s design and stware features.

A jury awarded Apple close to $539 million in May, leaving Samsung with an outstanding balance $140 million owed to their competitor. However, it is not clear if the South Korean tech conglomerate may still have to provide an undisclosed lump sum to Apple.

This lengthy court battle cost both companies hundreds millions in legal fees, which effectively resulted in several rulings and appeals. In 2012, a year after the trial began, a judge ordered Samsung to shell out nearly $1 billion for copying various hardware and stware features the iPhone and iPad; later, a federal judge reduced the penalty to $450 million. 

In 2016, the case was sent to the Supreme Court, which reversed an appeals court ruling that ordered Samsung to pay $399 million for patent infringement. 

“This case has always been about more than money. 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 so many people at Apple,” the company stated last month. 

Jurors found Samsung guilty infringing upon the various patents in question, including double-tap zooming and scrolling, as well as hardware style or icon setup.