​Samsung will pay Apple $548m in damages - but then fight to get it back

Samsung has agreed to pay Apple $548m in damages over iPhone patents. But the five-year legal battle is far from over.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Although it has now agreed to pay $548m, Samsung has also claimed "all rights to obtain reimbursement from Apple", pending further appeals.

Image: CNET/CBS Interactive

Samsung has finally agreed to pay $548m in its long-running patent dispute with Apple.

The smartphone rivals on Thursday filed a joint court statement confirming that Samsung would, by December 14, pay Apple the $548m awarded to it in September.

The damages bill stems from Apple's court award of $1bn in damages over a patent complaint it brought against Samsung nearly five years ago. However, subsequent appeals reduced the amount involved to the figure of $548m.

It emerged in August that Samsung may appeal the decision at the US Supreme Court, following a failed bid to contest the damages bill at the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Samsung believed that nearly $400m of the damages were unfairly awarded.

On receipt of the payment, Apple has agreed to withdraw its request for the court to enforce the judgment.

Despite having now agreed to pay Apple the full amount, Samsung has also claimed "all rights to obtain reimbursement from Apple", pending the results of any further appeals.

A potential sticking point is Apple's pinch-to-zoom '915 patent, which was invalidated by the appeals board of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in December last year. Apple is seeking an appeal over that decision too.

"Samsung further reserves all rights to reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid by Samsung to any entity in the event the partial judgment is reversed, modified, vacated or set aside on appeal or otherwise, including as a result of any proceedings before the USPTO addressing the patents at issue or as a result of any petition for writ of certiorari filed with the Supreme Court," said Samsung.

Apple said it disputes Samsung's claimed right to reimbursement.

"Apple notes that Samsung purports to reserve rights to obtain partial reimbursement in the future of judgment amounts it has paid. Apple disputes Samsung's asserted rights to reimbursement," said Apple.

Apple has also asked the court to force Samsung to pay $1.8m in court costs related to the judgment.

Patent watcher Florian Mueller, who first reported the joint statement, noted Samsung has vowed to petition the Supreme Court to review damages related to Apple's design patents.

"If the top US court agreed to hear that matter and agreed with what will likely be a broad industry coalition, there would have to be a retrial," Mueller commented.

The coalition he refers to could likely include Google, Facebook, eBay, and PC makers Dell and Hewlett-Packard, which in July threw their support behind Samsung's appeal over damages concerning Apple's design patents.

More on Apple and Samsung patents

Editorial standards