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Apple vs Samsung: seven-year court dispute finally ends

Apple and Samsung have finally settled a court battle almost as old as time itself.

Way back in 2011, Apple sued Samsung for “slavishly” copying various design features of the iPhone. The case argues that much of Samsung’s subsequent success is due to this behavior and it should pay damages to Apple.

It’s no coincidence that these rival devices look so alike

As summarized by Engadget: “The original lawsuit saw Apple go after Samsung for allegedly infringing on Cupertino’s iPhone user interface, basic design and advertising, along with several patents, including the iOS home screen, iPhone 3G design patents, the Messages interface, the “bounce back” effect when you scroll too far (like the modern pull to refresh feature) and other various user interface and app patents.”

Though the courts eventually ruled in Apple’s favor, agreeing that Samsung copied crucial elements of the iPhone, the two have been back and forth ever since trying to agree settlement terms. It’s been clear for a while that Samsung will have to pay out some portion of its earnings, but the exact figure has literally taken years to be agreed.

In fact, the exact figure still hasn’t been revealed by California’s District Court. However, earlier this year Samsung was ordered to pay out $539 million in damages, so we’d expect the final number to be in that general area. A lot of money, to be sure, but for a company as rich as Apple we wonder if it was really worth seven years of hassle.

More important to the design team at Apple will be the legal proof that Samsung is a copycat. Regardless, it’s great to finally see the back of this long-running court case!