Apple and Samsung end seven-year long iPhone patent battle


Apple and Samsung agreed on Wednesday to settle their long-running dispute over design and utility patent-infringement allegations at the US District Court of Northern California in San Jose.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Judge Lucy Koh said in a court filing that she had been informed by the two companies that they had come to an agreement.

The lawsuit started in 2011, when Apple alleged infringement of patents, trademarks, user interface and style against Samsung's then-new Nexus Android phones. Samsung would eventually be ordered to pay Apple $539m in damages, but not before the case went all the way to the Supreme Court and back. We aren't sure if more money will be owed now that the two have settled, but I expect those details will be released sooner or later.

"Plaintiff Apple Inc. and Defendants Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC would like to inform the Court that they have agreed to drop and settle their remaining claims and counterclaims in this matter, "the filing (PDF) reads". Terms of the settlement are not yet available.

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Apple and Samsung have declined to comment on today's settlement, but Apple pointed reporters to a statement made in May when the case was last ruled on.

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

Paul Berghoff, a patent lawyer with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, referred to Apple and Samsung as "Sumo wrestlers who have exhausted of the wrestling match".

In 2012, a USA jury awarded California-based Apple $1.05bn in damages for the copied features, which included design elements like the screen that displays icons in a grid. The court originally sided with Apple in 2012, ordering Samsung to pay more than $1 billion in damages. Apple was originally awarded $1 billion in damages, but a series of appeals pushed the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court.