One of the biggest and noteworthy patent disputes of the tech industry has finally seen its end after a tedious seven years. On Wednesday, Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. informed a judge that both companies had resolved the legal disputes which were once spread across four continents.
The patent dispute was started in 2011, and in the initial stages, it led to a $1 billion ruling in favor of Apple. However, subsequent appeals and retrials took the dispute even to the Supreme Court with the frequent rehashing of patents that were infringed and the amount owed by Samsung to Apple due to patent infringement.
According to the statement of a patent lawyer with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff in Chicago, Paul Berghoff, this battle was nothing less than sumo wrestlers that got tired of the wrestling match. He further added that both the companies were exhausted due to the legal battles and were more than happy to stop remunerating outside lawyers. Since the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, it might be difficult to know who bowed down first in the battle to bring it to an end.
Another prominent reason for the settlement could be identified in the distraction of Apple’s legal resources in the patent conflict with Samsung. The legal resources of Apple could be otherwise utilized in the multi-billion dollar legal dispute with Qualcomm Inc. for patent royalties.
The significance of the dispute with Qualcomm could be readily identified in the involvement of regulators such as Apple’s contract manufacturers and the US Federal Trade Commission. The legal battle with Qualcomm started off with Apple’s accusations against the former implying unfair business practices such as excessive royalties and exclusionary tactics while Qualcomm denied the allegations and accused Apple of infringing patents.
Apple and Samsung were also engaged in another notable patent dispute that was resolved in 2014 and lasted until the last year. In the dispute, Apple was able to get a compensation of $120 million for the violations of the slide-to-unlock patent as well as others. Last month, Apple was awarded $540 million for compensation from Samsung by a jury in San Jose.
This verdict came in a retrial of a patent case in 2012 which had been all the way up to the Supreme Court. Apple was awarded a compensation of $1.05 billion for the infringement of a set of patents, and the amount was reduced in the retrial verdict because of miscalculations on behalf of the jury.
We didn’t receive any comments from both of the companies. However, during the whole war, Apple remained firm on its stand that the case was not about the money but the fact that Samsung copied the design of the iPhone and that Apple is committed to safeguarding the innovation and hard work of Apple employees.