Patent Law

Apple and Samsung settle patent litigation case—finally

  • Print

Apple Samsung

tanuha2001 /

After seven years of litigation over smartphone design and utility patents, Apple and Samsung settled their Northern District of California infringement lawsuit Wednesday, the Mercury News reports.

In May 2018, a San Jose jury awarded Apple $539 million in damages, according to the article. There were also trials in 2012 and 2013. The lawsuit involved Samsung’s Nexus Android phones, which Apple initially sought to keep off the market.

For the 2012 trial, a San Jose jury awarded Apple $1 billion, the New York Times reported. There was a damages retrial in 2013, and the award was cut to $930 milion, American Lawyer reports.

Also, in 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court reversed an U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit opinion that the company must pay Apple $399 million for patent infringement, CNN reported. The Supreme Court found that Apple may not be entitled to all the profits that Samsung earned on infringing smartphones, and the infringing “article of manufacture” may be limited to the phones’ components. The case was sent back to the lower court

“If I had to characterize it, it didn’t really accomplish anything,” Brian J. Love, a Santa Clara University law professor, told the New York Times. “Close to a decade of litigation, hundreds of millions of dollars spent on lawyers, and at the end of the day, no products went off the market.”

A Samsung spokesperson declined to comment on the settlement, according to the article. An Apple spokeswoman reportedly referred the paper to an earlier statement that claimed the lawsuit was about more than money.

“Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design,” the statement read, according to the article. “It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple.”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.