Samsung agrees to pay Apple $766m in patent row

Samsung Electronics Co. agreed to pay Apple Inc. the US$548 million (S$765.9 million) a court ordered but that doesn’t mean they’ve come to a final resolution of their long-running patent battle over smartphones.

Samsung said in a court filing Thursday that it’s only paying the money because an appeals court refused to block a judgment ordering it to pay.

The South Korean device maker said it will pursue reimbursement for at least some of the money if the US Patent and Trademark Office invalidates the patents and if the US Supreme Court takes up its request for review.

It’s been almost five years since Apple first accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying the iPhone, setting off a global patent battle that has shrunk in size but not in vitriol. The two tech behemoths have dropped all non-US cases, leaving two main disputes that still have a way to go in court.

“I don’t think it’s over, but hopefully we’re getting close,” said Robert Stoll, a patent lawyer with Drinker Biddle in Washington who isn’t involved in the case. “They’ve got to learn to coexist in some shape or form. This has been a very painful thing for the entire industry.”

The $548 million is part of a case that dealt primarily with Apple’s designs for the iPhone, as well as its “pinch-to-zoom” technology. The patent on the invention has been invalidated by the PTO, and Apple is challenging that decision.

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