Well, I’m sure most of us thought we wouldn’t live to see the day, right? However, it appears that the years-long Samsung vs. Apple patent infringement lawsuit — and all its trials, retrials, and appeals — has finally drawn to a relatively anticlimactic resolution, with the South Korean tech giant formally agreeing to pony up a whopping $548 million to Cupertino.
The two companies submitted a jointly filed case management statement to the U.S. District Court of Northern California, wherein Samsung indicated that it had “made arrangements with” Apple to pay a damage and restitution totaling $548,176,477. According to the document, payment in full will have to be rendered by Samsung within 10 days of its submission.
Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents was first to spot the filing, which was a surprising find, indeed, especially considering how prior to Thursday’s filing, Samsung had been suggesting that it would move forward with plans to file a Supreme Court appeal related to the very first Apple v. Samsung judgment that was handed down.
Samsung is indeed planning to pay the amount specified in the timeframe indicated, however it’s reserving the right to reimbursement if judgment is reversed, modified, vacated or changed for whatever reason in its favor. How that could ultimately happen is if the results of any existing US Patent Trial, Appeal Board assessment, or Supreme Court petitions ever pan out in Samsung’s favor. For instance, currently under scrutiny by the Patent Appeals Board is Apple’s “915 patent” for pinch to zoom functionality and, in addition, Samsung voiced its intent to continue arguing Apple’s design patent and construction claims in front of the Supreme Court just this past August.
The payout, announced on Thursday, is related to Apple’s first California patent infringement suit against Samsung, in which the South Korean company was initially placed on the hook for upwards of $1.08 BILLION in damages. Years later, however, a subsequent retrial and successful Court of appeals for the Federal Circuit brought down the initial amount to the $548 million number we’re seeing today.
In case you don’t remember, Apple’s initial litigation, filed back in the Spring of 2011, was in reference to a number of technology and construction related patents — owned by Apple — that Samsung had supposedly infringed on only after the release of the first iPhone in 2007. Since the case was initially brought to the table in 2011, however, it’s most commonly believed that Samsung’s GALAXY S line of smartphones — initially released in the Summer of 2010, to great acclaim — were the catalyst of Apple’s decision to pursue legal action.
So what do you think about these recent developments? Is either Apple or Samsung in the right? Or is a smartphone just a smartphone, either way you slice it?