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Apple and Samsung Settle Seven-Year iPhone Patent Fight

After seven years of back-and-forth litigation, Apple and Samsung settled their epic patent battle over cell phone and tablet designs.

It played out in lawsuits around the globe, as virtually the entire tech industry watched. It outlived Steve Jobs, who reportedly called it "thermonuclear war."

Yet as it happens in most great conflicts, the parties finally laid down their weapons. The settlement terms have not been disclosed, but the cost of the war was certainly part of it.

Cost of Litigation

The beginning of the end started in 2012 when Apple won a $1.05 billion jury verdict. It was supposed to be the end of competing claims over iPhones, iPads, and Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

But of course, it went on. After multiple trials, appeals, and modified awards, the litigants went back to where they started -- a San Jose courtroom.

Apple won a $539 million award, but Samsung could still claim victory because the U.S. Supreme Court said the company was not on the hook for all of its profits. According to reports, Samsung sold 10.7 million of the allegedly infringing devices for $3.5 billion.

In any case, the war would not be over until somebody sang. Issues about more than $60 million in attorney's fees probably had something to do with it.

Confidential Settlement?

Ars Technica, ever-watchful of patent litigation, reached out to the parties for comments on the settlement. Neither Apple nor Samsung responded.

The tech publication reported that the terms were not disclosed. The Notice of Settlement states all claims and counterclaims were dismissed with prejudice.

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