Samsung agrees to pay $548 million to Apple to settle copying case

Samsung ships 113 million mobile handsets and 13 million tablets in Q1 2014
Smartphone major Samsung Electronics has agreed to pay rival Apple $548 million to settle a patent copying dispute in a never-ending patent battle between two tech giants.

The decision to make the payment to Apple follows several rounds of appeals, which were rejected by US courts.

The $548 million penalty does not mean that this is the end of the life for Samsung, one of the top corporates in Asia. The Korean tech major is still trying to find justice from American courts in other patent cases with the US-based Apple Inc.

The South Korean electronics company, which is undergoing restructuring to improve the device business, is expected to make the $548 million payment before December 14. Samsung said it will make the payment by December 14 if Apple sends an invoice on Friday, according to papers filed in federal court in San Jose, California on Thursday.

In 2011, Apple, which sells iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets, sued Samsung for infringing smartphone patents for features like tap-to-zoom and multi touch. Samsung fought the case for the last four years before finally deciding to settle the particular case.

A U.S. appeals court last May reduced a $930 million judgement against Samsung by $382 million, stemming from a 2012 verdict for infringing Apple patents and copying the look of the iPhone, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, another trial over remaining damages relating to some of Samsung’s infringing products in the case is set to go ahead next spring.

Though the U.S. 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.

Samsung told the San Jose court that it expects to be reimbursed if it succeeds in a forthcoming appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over its liability for copying the patented designs of the surface, bezel and user interface of the iPhone, which accounted for $399 million of the total award.

Samsung said it reserved the right to be reimbursed in the future if a decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office invalidating one of the Apple patents in the case, related to touch-screen gestures, is upheld.

Apple intends to appeal that ruling and said in court documents it disputes Samsung’s asserted rights to reimbursement.

“We are disappointed that the court has agreed to proceed with Apple’s grossly exaggerated damages claims regardless of whether the patents are valid,” said a Samsung spokeswoman in a statement.

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