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. Today's settlement comes on the heels of another patent battle with Samsung, over the iPhone's slide-to-unlock functionality, in which Apple won $120 million in November of past year.
Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose, California, US, June 4, 2018.
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Now, nearly seven years since the feud begun, the companies have finally reached a settlement and the case is being closed, according to a court document. Terms of the settlement are not yet available.
"We believe deeply in the value of design, and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers", the Apple statement noted. The accusation was that the Galaxy phone maker had violated Apple design patents across five different Android devices which has been on sale between 2010 and 2011.
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In the most recent stage of the case, Samsung was ordered by a federal jury to pay Apple $539 million in damages. Since the case first came about, we've seen the judge rule in Apple's favor back in 2012, and an endless series of appeals since then.
In 2012, a U.S. 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. Apple declined to comment on the agreement, but an Apple rep referred CNN to a company statement released last month that said, "Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design". In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court threw out the $399 million decision and ordered the case to virtually restart in San Jose.
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Samsung appealed part of that award, taking its case all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing that damages should be limited since patent infringement involved only certain features.