Apple and Samsung settle iPhone patent battle after 7 years

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Apple and Samsung have agreed to settle their long-running patent infringement dispute.

Apple and Samsung ended a seven-year legal battle that ignited a series of lawsuits over patents across the globe but mostly centred in courtrooms in the US.

The bitter rivals notified US District Court Judge Lucy Koh of the truce in a notice filed on Wednesday. This means another case can not be filed on the same claim. Neither disclosed the amount of the settlement. The decision cut Apple's original demands of $1 billion nearly by half but it is still way above what Samsung argued they should be paying.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit stripped another $382 million from that, saying the iPhone's appearance could not be protected through trademarks, to $548 million in December 2015. In 2012, a jury awarded more than $1 billion in damages to Apple but of course there was a subsequent retrial. What was really at stake was the market for mobile devices. Despite all the expense and drama, the dispute has done little to impede the march of technology or the companies filling their respective coffers and making shareholders wealthier.

When contacted by AFP for comment, Apple referred to a statement released last month after the jury announced the damages award. Very little, materially. The case captivated the tech world and Apple can now be satisfied that it has made its point.

Apple has previously said that its goal in taking Samsung to court wasn't about money but rather about protecting its homegrown innovations.

The importance of the second supplier is potentially massive for Apple, as by having LG Display's expertise to call on in the production of OLED screens, and potentially ramp up massively if it sees fit, it would put the company in a great position to strike cheaper deals with Samsung for the tech and reduce the overall cost of each new iPhone, which it could then pass on to iPhone users.

"We believe deeply in the value of design", Apple said recently, "and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers".