SAN JOSE, Calif. – Samsung Electronics Co. (KRX: 005930) accepted to pay Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL) $548 million for patent violation, as the company stated in a filing in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., this Thursday.
This step comes after a court denied in August the South Korean firm’s appeal for a new trial, following the ruling decision of $548 million in damages.
Even though this marks the first significant money exchange since the patent dispute began almost five years ago, Samsung affirmed it expects a partial or total reimbursement from Apple, depending on further decisions at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the U.S. Supreme Court.
“While we’ve agreed to pay Apple, we remain confident that our products do not infringe on Apple’s design patents, and we will continue to take all appropriate measures within the legal system to protect our products and our intellectual property,” Samsung spokeswoman Danielle Meister Cohen declared, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The amount of money Samsung agreed to pay is the same as courts finally settled, but it still is far below the more than $1 billion in damages the Cupertino company awarded from the beginning in 2012. Generally, a settlement payment would mean that a court spat has come to an end, but in this case the battle between the giant tech companies seems to persist. Samsung argued that if patents happen to be considered invalid it should be allowed to get at least part of its money back. Apple has not offered any comments on its rival’s statement.
Over the past few years both companies have been accusing each other for patent violations that include several aspects such as design and mobile software of Apple’s iPhone line and Samsung’s Galaxy phones. The disputes were being held around the world but in 2014 the firms decided to focus them only in the U.S.
Before Samsung accepted to pay the $548 million, it had two options: pay and move on or appeal to the Supreme Court. In July, an alliance of giant tech companies, including Google, Facebook, and eBay, showed support to Samsung’s appeal for a new trial by filling a brief with the Federal Circuit Court. They claimed that Apple’s final victory would lead to serious consequences for the modern technologies development, causing a dramatic impact on companies. If the Supreme Court accepts to hear the case next year, there would be a retrial and a chance that Samsung could get its money back would be plausible.
One of the main claims of Apple’s case against Samsung is that the South Korean company copied its ‘915 patent’, which describes the facility to pinch to zoom on touch devices. The Cupertino company affirmed in 2012 that the patent was valid and accused its rival of damaging its intellectual property, but it could not prove that to the USPTO.
Later, the governmental organism determined the 915 patent was invalid, which gave Apple no option but to appeal to the Federal Circuit court in order to keep its patent and the damages that go with it. The company founded by Steve Jobs and directed by Tim Cook will receive the money by December 14.
Source: The Wall Street Journal