Samsung willing to pay Apple $548M over patent claims, but fight drags on

The companies have finally agreed to a dollar figure for damages in the years-old case, but they can't seem to bury the patent hatchet.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Apple vs. Samsung

Will the court battles between Apple and Samsung ever end?


Samsung and Apple have finally settled on the amount of money the former owes the latter for damages in a long-running patent case. But the battle continues.

In a court document filed Thursday by both companies, Samsung said it would pay Apple $548 million in damages awarded to the iPhone maker following a 2012 decision that found that Samsung had violated key Apple patents. At the time, the jury came up with an award of more than $1 billion in damages, but that has since been whittled down to almost half the amount.

The legal battle is just one aspect of a tangled history between Apple and Samsung, the most dominant companies in the smartphone market. The contest is as much about legacy as it is about unit sales, market share and who owes whom how much. And the relationship between the companies goes deeper: Samsung, for instance, has been a supplier of processors and screens for the Cupertino, California, company's iPhones and iPads. So the two companies continue to work as partners despite being courtroom rivals.

Although Apple and Samsung last year dropped all litigation overseas, their battles have continued in the US. Along with the 2012 case, the two also faced off in court in early 2014. The second verdict was more mixed for the companies, with Apple winning some claims but losing others. The jury also ruled Apple infringed one of Samsung's patents.

In Thursday's joint filing, Samsung said it would be willing to pay the $548 million 10 days after Apple sends it an invoice. But the South Korea-based phone maker added that it wants the right to be reimbursed any amount in the event a partial judgment on the case is modified or set aside on appeal. Further, Apple has filed an appeal on its pinch-to-zoom '915 patent, which the US Patent and Trademark Office invalidated last December, a factor that could affect the amount of damages.

Samsung said in a statement that it's "disappointed that the court has agreed to proceed with Apple's grossly exaggerated damages claims regardless of whether the patents are valid."

"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," the company said.

In the filing Apple said it disputes Samsung's asserted rights to reimbursement. Apple also wants Samsung to pay $1.8 million in court costs, something Samsung said it has no intention of doing.

Despite Samsung's attempt to settle the case, "this will go on for some more time, especially since the filing also notes that a settlement conference took place on November 2, 2015 and 'did not result in settlement,'" predicted Foss Patents patent expert Florian Mueller.

An Apple spokeswoman said the company has nothing to add beyond the joint filing and declined to comment.

Updated at 11:50 a.m. PT with Samsung's comment.