Samsung’s $548 million Apple check is no sign of surrender

5 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Samsung Corp to pay Apple Inc $548 million in patent suit, but it’s no sign of surrender.

The South Korean electronics colossus said in a legal filing Thursday it will pay Apple the partial judgement awarded but that reserves the right to get money back if the amount is modified or overturned on appeal or if the validity of patents at issue is successfully challenged.Samsung agreed to pay Apple $548 million to settle a smartphone patent dispute, but the payment won’t put an end to the long-running legal battles between the two companies.Samsung fought until the bitter end to avoid paying Apple, but the company now says it will finally hand over the more than $548 million it owes for infringing the patents and designs of its biggest smartphone rival.

In a joint statement filed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday, the two companies said that Samsung had agreed to make the payment in accordance with a partial judgment in Apple’s favor handed down in September. The payment comes after a US appeals court last May reduced a $930 million judgment against Samsung by $382 million, stemming from a 2012 verdict for infringing Apple patents and copying the look of the iPhone. Apple reiterated in a statement that the ruling “reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products.” The company also thanked the court for “sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.” The payment stems from one of two outstanding lawsuits between Apple and Samsung, which are fierce rivals in the smartphone market. Even though the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. had authorized damages to Apple in May, Samsung again appealed the final figure to the same court, and was rebuffed twice more. It’s been almost five years since Apple first accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying the iPhone, setting off a global patent battle that has shrunk in size but not in vitriol.

The companies have battled in close to a dozen countries, with each accusing the other of infringing on various patents related to their flagship smartphone and tablet products. The two tech behemoths have dropped all non-U.S. cases, leaving two main disputes that still have a ways to go in courts. “I don’t think it’s over, but hopefully we’re getting close,” said Robert Stoll, a patent lawyer with Drinker Biddle in Washington who isn’t involved in the case. “They’ve got to learn to coexist in some shape or form.

This has been a very painful thing for the entire industry.” The US$548 million is part of a case that dealt primarily with Apple’s designs for the iPhone, as well as its “pinch-to- zoom” technology. However, the agreement came with one key caveat, with the two giants stressing that they would continue “to pursue the existing cases in US courts.” Disclaimer: Comments do not represent the views of INQUIRER.net.

The cost of litigation is large in amount of dollars, but not large compared with the amount of revenue they’re bringing in from the smartphones.” Apple isn’t conceding that Samsung would be entitled to any reimbursement, even if the pinch-to-zoom patent is invalidated. While Apple has been able to obtain monetary judgments against Samsung, it hasn’t gotten what it really sought: a far-reaching injunction on sales of certain Samsung phones and tablets.

It’s also asking the trial judge in California to impose even greater damages for continued infringement of the company’s patents; Apple also wants IS$1.8 million in compensation for some of its costs. The appeals court that specializes in patent law in September said Apple can get a narrowly worded order that would block Samsung from using the inventions.

Samsung is asking the court to reconsider that decision, and has the backing of Google Inc., Facebook Inc., HTC Corp. and EBay Inc., which say the ruling has created uncertainty and enables patent owners to extract unfairly large settlements.

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