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Apple and Samsung settle their patent dispute after 7 years of legal battles

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Marking an end to one of the more high-profile tech disputes of our time, Apple and Samsung earlier today settled their ongoing patent dispute that raged on unabated for seven years. Terms of the settlement were not made public, according to Reuters.

Apple, if you recall, first sued Samsung back in April of 2011, alleging that Samsung’s lineup of tablets and smartphones “slavishly copied” designs and features pioneered by both the iPhone and the iPad. Samsung naturally defended its position vigorously, and would soon file a number of countersuits against Apple for patent infringement. When the case finally went to trial in 2012, Apple emerged victorious, with a jury awarding Apple $1 billion in damages.

The ruling, of course, didn’t spell the end for Apple and Samsung’s legal squabbles. On the contrary, Samsung appealed and that resulted in additional legal squabbling that stretched out over a number of years. When the dust settled, Apple last month was awarded $539 million in damages, a figure far below the $1 billion sought by Apple and far above the $28 million Samsung was willing to pay.

All told, Samsung products were found to have infringed three of Apple’s design patents — including a form factor featuring rounded corners — and two of Apple’s utility patents.

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

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

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.