Apple and Samsung finally settle their patent dispute | Tech News

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Apple and Samsung’s long-running patent infringement battle saw its last trial in May in San Jose, California.


Shara Tibken/CNET

The long-running patent battle between Apple and Samsung is finally over.

The two phone giants on Wednesday notified a district court in San Jose, California, that “they have agreed to drop and settle their remaining claims and counterclaims in this matter.” Judge Lucy Koh, of the Northern District of California, signed the order dismissing all suits with prejudice, which means another case can’t be filed on the same claim. 

The terms of the settlement are unclear. 

Apple and Samsung have been fighting over the designs and functionality of their smartphones and tablets since 2011. For the companies, the long-running battle was about more than money. What was really at stake was the market for mobile devices. 

Apple referred CNET back to a comment from May:

“We believe deeply in the value of design, and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers,” the company said. “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 of so many people at Apple.”

Samsung didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Patent battle

The original Apple v. Samsung trial in 2012 captivated Silicon Valley and the tech industry because it exposed the inner workings of two notoriously secretive companies. It was just one of many cases around the world as the rivals sparred both in the marketplace and in the courtroom. The two companies settled their international lawsuits in 2014 but have been battling in US courts as recently as May. The devices at issue in the case, though, haven’t been sold for years and predate Samsung’s meteoric rise in mobile phones. 

The initial trial in 2012 awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages for Samsung’s infringement. But Samsung appealed the case, leading to two damages retrials and a hearing at the Supreme Court over how design patent damages can be decided. The Supreme Court sent the case back to district court. During the latest damages retrial, in May in San Jose, a jury determined that Samsung had to pay Apple $539 million for infringing five patents with Android phones it sold in 2010 and 2011. That was on top of $548 million that Samsung had already paid. 

Apple and Samsung also had another case pending that related to newer devices, like 2012’s Galaxy S3. 

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