Almost five years after Samsung was found guilty of infringing Apple patents, and some four trials later, the two companies have agreed to settle out of court for $548M. Samsung says that if Apple submits an invoice for this amount by the weekend, it will be paid within ten days, reports FOSS Patents.
As you may recall, Apple was initially awarded $1B in damages, then $450M of it was overturned and replaced with $290M, for a new total of $930M. The U.S. appeals court later decided that was still too high, and a new trial was set to take place next year unless the parties could reach a settlement in the meantime. That settlement has now been reached, but there’s a catch …
While the two companies are mostly in agreement, Samsung says that it reserves the right to claim reimbursement should any subsequent legal finding affect the validity of the award.
Samsung further reserves all rights to reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid by Samsung to any entity in the event the partial judgment is reversed, modified, vacated or set aside on appeal or otherwise, including as a result of any proceedings before the USPTO addressing the patents at issue.
Apple notes in the case management statement that it disputes Samsung’s claimed right to do this.
Samsung had initially indicated that it intended to appeal the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, something which now seems to have been ruled out by the settlement, but there remains another possible way for a large chunk of the damages to be set aside.
Separately from the trial, Samsung called on the United States Patent and Trademark Office to declare one of Apple’s patents – for pinch-to-zoom – invalid. So far, the USPTO has sided with Samsung in doing so, though Apple has an appeal in progress. The USPTO has also declared one of Apple’s design patents invalid. All of which leaves the possibility that Samsung could argue that Apple should repay part of the settlement.
So, settlement agreement or not, this one appears likely to run into a sixth year at least.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic