In 2011, Apple opened up its patent infringement case against Samsung. And now, seven years later, that case has been settled. Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPhone back in 2011, and went to court in 2012 for damages. At first, the jury awarded Apple a little over $1 billion in damages. But after a few retrials and appeals, the most recent amount was around $539 million, which was in the most recent retrial just a month ago. Now the entire dispute is concluded, after seven long years.
When the initial verdict was given, it was deemed that Samsung owed Apple a little over $1 billion. In a recent retrial that ended back in May, that amount dropped down to around $539 million, which shows just how much Apple's design patents are worth in court. Neither Apple nor Samsung have stated what the terms of the settlement are, or how much Samsung is paying Apple to settle this case (it is likely that Samsung is paying a good amount of that $539 million that the jury had come up with in the most recent trial). But the two companies notified a district court in San Jose today, and stated that they "have agreed to drop and settle their remaining claims and counterclaims in this matter." The judge that presided over the original case, Judge Lucy Koh, signed the order which dismissed all of the suits with prejudice.
Back in 2011, when this case was initially brought up, Samsung's smartphones did look fairly similar to the iPhone. But that made sense, seeing as everyone was trying to create the "iPhone killer" and Samsung also made virtually the entire iPhone. Since then, Samsung has drastically changed its design philosophy and stands out among all of the many other smartphone makers out there that are copying the iPhone. Apple said that it is pleased with the result of the case (back in May) and were pleased that the jury agrees that Samsung should pay for copying the iPhone. Now this might free up Apple to sue other smartphone makers that are now copying the iPhone, but given how long this case was dragged out, it may not be worth it in the end.