The battle started when Steve Jobs was miffed that his partner, Samsung produced a smartphone which looked a bit like the iPhone. Despite the fact that most of the iPhone parts were made by Samsung and the Korean outfit was going to pay a licence fee, Jobs went ballistic and began an international lawsuit.
It only really had any significant success in the US in 2012 where American juries honestly believed that Apple invented the rounded rectangle and awarded the cargo cult a billion dollars of damages. Apple had demanded $2.5 billion. Appeals and other legal manoeuvres in the dark had reduced its billion dollars further.
But the whole thing was completely silly and Apple was starting to realise it. Not only were the law suits costing more money in legal fees they were poisoning an important relationship between too partners that effectively needed each other. Through-out the legal battle, Samsung continued to supply parts for the iPhone, even when Apple tried, unsuccessfully, to lose its dependence.
Now Samsung has confirmed that it will pay Apple $548 million before December 14th if it receives an invoice from the iPhone-maker before the weekend. The Tame Apple Press claims that this is a “significant win for Apple” and talks about “Samsung’s capitulation.” But it really isn’t.
The South Korean company announced it would be requesting a US Supreme Court review of its legal case and if it wins then Apple is at square one and a retrial is likely. Meanwhile the US patent office itself is under pressure for awarding certain patents to Apple in the first place.
The $548 million sounds like a big number, however it is not much when you consider all the legal fees, lost business, and licence fees that Samsung would have paid Apple had Jobs been a little more sensible about the case.