Apple and Samsung settle their smartphone-design patent fight after seven years

28 June, 2018, 09:27 | Author: Sergio Cook
  • This is what smartphones looked like before the iPhone

Samsung and Apple have been going back-and-forth in a long-running design patent dispute, but it looks like it has finally reached an end. The two companies spent the next six years battling in court over the damages amount.

Apple alleged Samsung's Nexus Android phones infringed on Apple's patents, trademarks, user interface and style.

The courts handling this battle have issued numerous verdicts over time, and they've mostly been in Apple's favor.

In a filing at a district court in San Jose, California, late on Wednesday, the two tech giants notified the judge that that "they have agreed to drop and settle their remaining claims and counterclaims in this matter". Some of the specific features Apple feels Samsung stole include home screen app grids, tap to zoom, and "bounceback" scrolling.

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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. "This case has always been about more than money".

"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.

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. "It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple".

Apple was initially awarded $1 billion in compensation, but a number of appeals over many years eventually brought that figure down to $539 million, which was the figure awarded as recently as this May. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court threw out the $399 million decision and ordered the case to virtually restart in San Jose. Apple was originally awarded $1 billion in damages, but a series of appeals pushed the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court.

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