Apple and Samsung have finally put an end to their long-running patent battle whose central question was whether Samsung copied the iPhone. In a court filing today, the Judge Lucy Koh said the two companies had informed her that they had reached a settlement. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
The patent battle started in 2011 and initially resulted in a $1 billion ruling in Apple’s favor. But it didn’t end there. A series of appeals pushed the dispute to the Supreme Court at back, as the companies continually rehashed which patents were infringed and, more recently, exactly how much Samsung owes Apple because of the infringement.
The case revolved around a number of design and utility patents for basic functions of a smartphone, like tap to zoom and the home screen app grid. But while the fight was hashed out using specific patents, the battle was ultimately about whether Samsung copied Apple in the early days of smartphones to gain an edge. The jury decided that, in many ways, it had.
Most recently, the verdict had been whittled down to $539 million for Apple. Samsung again filed to appeal that earlier this month. But evidently, the two companies were able to reach an agreement before it could be litigated again.
Apple declined to give terms of the settlement and pointed to a statement it made in May, when the case was last ruled on:
We believe deeply in the value of design, and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers. 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.
We’re grateful to the jury for their service and pleased they agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.
Samsung didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.