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Apple, Samsung Settle US Patent Dispute

Terms of the settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, were not available

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Apple
While other players like Huawei, LG, Motorola and arch rival Apple have secured patents on foldable devices, Samsung has taken a definitive lead with a real one.

Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday settled a seven-year patent dispute over Apple’s allegations that Samsung violated its patents by “slavishly” copying the design of the iPhone.

Terms of the settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, were not available.

In May, a U.S. jury awarded Apple $539 million, after Samsung had previously paid Apple $399 million to compensate for patent infringement. Samsung would need to make an additional payment to Apple of nearly $140 million if the verdict was upheld.

How much, if anything, Samsung must now pay Apple under Wednesday’s settlement could not immediately be learned. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the terms of the settlement but said Apple “cares deeply about design” and that “this case has always been about more than money.” A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment.

Apple
Representational image. Pixabay

Apple and Samsung are rivals for the title of world’s largest smartphone maker, and the dollar sums involved in the decision are unlikely to have an impact on either’s bottom line. But the case has had a lasting impact on U.S. patent law.

After a loss at trial, Samsung appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In December 2016, the court sided unanimously with Samsung’s argument that a patent violator does not have to hand over the entire profit it made from stolen designs if those designs covered only certain portions of a product but not the entire object.

But when the case went back to lower court for trial this year, the jury sided with Apple’s argument that, in this specific case, Samsung’s profits were attributable to the design elements that violated Apple’s patents.

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Michael Risch, a professor of patent law at Villanova University, said that because of the recent verdict the settlement likely called for Samsung to make an additional payment to Apple.

But he said there was no clear winner in the dispute, which involved hefty legal fees for both companies. While Apple scored a major public relations victory with an initial $1 billion verdict in 2012, Samsung also obtained rulings in its favor and avoided an injunction that would have blocked it from selling phones in the U.S. market, Risch said. (VOA)

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Samsung Competes Apple, Launches Stores and Expand Retail Footprints in US

On February 20, Samsung is also hosting its "Unpacked" event in San Francisco, where it will announce its first foldable smartphone and "Galaxy S10".

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Samsung's retail presence in the US was marked only by pop-up stores and dedicated spaces in franchisees like Best Buy. Pixabay

Keeping in line with the prevailing competition with Apple, Samsung is planning to inaugurate three full-scale stores in Los Angeles, New York and Houston on February 20, aiming to expand its retail footprint in the US, Apple Insider reported.

Samsung intends to allow users to try and buy its products ranging from smartphones to Virtual Reality (VR) glasses and televisions via these retail stores.

Much like Apple Stores, the South Korean giant plans on providing in-person customer support along with walk-in repairs available for mobile devices.

Apple, Samsung
Apple has long touted its retail stores as one of its key advantages, since people can try products in advance and have a place to turn if they need help with setup or troubleshooting. Pixabay

Up until now, Samsung’s retail presence in the US was marked only by pop-up stores and dedicated spaces in franchisees like Best Buy. This move comes at a time when Apple is coping with declining iPhone sales, driven mostly by tough competition in China from local smartphone makers.

“Apple has long touted its retail stores as one of its key advantages, since people can try products in advance and have a place to turn if they need help with setup or troubleshooting. It remains to be seen whether Samsung would be able to cultivate an equal or superior level of support and whether or not will enough people choose to shop at outlets instead of online or at the many third-party vendors that carry Samsung gears,” the report said.

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Due to low traffic and poor response, the company failed in its attempts at retail expansion in the UK and withdrew quickly.

On February 20, Samsung is also hosting its “Unpacked” event in San Francisco, where it will announce its first foldable smartphone and “Galaxy S10”, the report noted. (IANS)