Seven years after the two technology giants took each other to court, Apple and Samsung have officially ended their dispute. According to sources, Samsung will be required to pay Apple under the new settlement, though how much Samsung would have to fork out was not immediately disclosed.
Paul Berghoff, a patent lawyer with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, referred to Apple and Samsung as “Sumo wrestlers who have tired of the wrestling match.”
The patent dispute between Apple and Samsung is by far the most publicised and most expensive legal dispute of the tech world. In 2011, Apple accused Samsung for violating its patents and “slavishly” copying the design of the iPhone. The dispute costed both companies billions of Ringgit in litigation costs and penalties over the years, but it also changed the way patent laws worked in the US.
The last court decision before this settlement ruled in Apple’s favour; Samsung was ordered to pay US$539 million (~RM2.17 billion) to Apple for copyright infringement, on top of a previous payment of US$399 million (~RM1.61 billion). Apple declined to comment any further on the terms of settlement, but insisted that it “cares deeply about design” and that the case was more than just the money.
Despite their legal issues, both Apple and Samsung are still the global leaders in term of smartphone sales, though Chinese phone makers Huawei and OPPO have begun to eat into Samsung’s market share recently.