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Apple Vs Samsung: the patent dispute is finally settled, a timeline

Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have finally settled the seven-year-old patent dispute which was centred around whether Samsung copied Apple’s iPhone’s design to gain the competitive edge in the market. The two companies reportedly informed the court in US that they have reached to a settlement. However, terms of the settlement have not been made public.

According to various media reports, Apple and Samsung, both filed more than 50 patent cases over design and utility features against each other in about 20 countries including South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, Netherlands, England, France and Australia.

The development comes after a US jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $539 million in lieu of the damages for “copying features of the original iPhone”.

Apple and Samsung Tiff’s Timeline

2010: Apple had warned Samsung saying that it believes that the Korean company is infringing upon Apple patents.

2011: The patent battle started in 2011 when Apple alleged Samsung of “slavishly” copying the iPhone design.

Samsung then countered the allegation by suing Apple accusing the company of infringing Samsung’s software patents. This went on and on, and the multiple cases were filed on multiple patents.

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2012: In favour of Apple a US jury ruled that Samsung must pay Apple more than $1.05 billion for copying certain features of iPhone and iPad.

2013: In a retrial, the penalty of $1.05 was reduced to $600 million later due to a “jury error”. In addition, the jury said that Samsung should pay Apple over $290 million for infringing on the company’s patents.

2014: In one of its trial, a jury found both Apple and Samsung infringing upon each others’ patents. For which Apple was awarded $120 million, and Samsung with $160,000.

Meanwhile, both the companies decided to drop all the patent cases outside the US.

2015: Samsung agreed to pay $548 million to Apple to settle the original patent infringement filed 2011. By this time, none of the 16 infringing smartphones was available in the market any longer.

In 2016:  The case reached to US Supreme court, and Samsung challenged lower court’s ruling that Samsung should pay 100% of the profits earned from its smartphone business- close to $399 Million. However, Supreme Court rejected the ruling and returned the case to lower courts saying that paying all profits was wrong, as the infringed patents are only a small part of the devices and not the full devices.

May 2018: US jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $539 million in lieu of the damages for “copying features of the original iPhone”.

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