Apple and Samsung Settle Seven Year Patent Dispute

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Cupertino-based Apple and Samsung agreed Wednesday to settle their long-running dispute over design and utility patent-infringement allegations at the U.S. District Court of Northern California in San Jose.

In its 2011 complaint, Apple wrote: "Instead of pursuing independent product development, Samsung has chosen to slavishly copy Apple's innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design, in violation of Apple's valuable intellectual property rights".

The courts handling this battle have issued numerous verdicts over time, and they've mostly been in Apple's favor.

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"Plaintiff Apple Inc. and Defendants Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC would like to inform the Court that they have agreed to drop and settle their remaining claims and counterclaims in this matter". But, as evidenced by the number of cases that Apple has brought against Android manufacturers in recent years, Apple is not afraid to sue in order to defend its intellectual property.

"This case has always been about more than money", the statement read. It was unclear how this week's ruling would affect that settlement.

The case dates back to 2011, when Apple, under the direction Steve Jobs, vowed to launch the legal equivalent of "thermonuclear war" against Samsung and other Android phone vendors Apple was convinced were ripping off designs it had patented for the iPhone.

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When contacted by AFP for comment, Apple referred to a statement released last month after the jury announced the damages award.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court threw out the US$399m decision and ordered the case to virtually restart in San Jose.

According to Bloomberg, the two smartphone giants have now reached an out-of-court settlement, putting an end to the seven-year patent fight.

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