Samsung has, in theory, agreed to pay Apple over half-a-billion dollars in a patent dispute, but believes that they’ve also found a loophole that would see that money returned in the event of a successful appeal.

Samsung Close To Settling With Apple Over Patent Row Worth $548 Million

Samsung effectively says, ‘sure we’ll pay you but…’

Nearly five years after Apple and Samsung started their patent fight, it appears as though Apple might finally see some compensation in the case that is won. Thursday saw the two companies agree to a settlement that was ordered by a San Jose federal court. The only thing keeping AAPL from “cashing” that massive check seems to be a simple matter of invoicing. Samsung has told Apple that it needs an invoice by the end of the day on December 4th (Korea time). If AAPL, and one can assume that they will get Samsung a bill, sends and invoice in that time frame, Samsung has agreed to remit the $548 million in full by December 14.

Samsung finds a loophole?

What would a drawn out legal battle be without a loophole or two? While Samsung has agreed to pay the nearly half-a-billion dollars, it believes that is reserves the right to continues to appeal the ruling as far as the United States Supreme Court.

If it were to win one of these appeals, Samsung believes it has the right to “reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid.” In theory, Apple might just keep Samsung’s money warm in its coffers for a bit before returning some or all of the settlement to the South Korean giant.

According to a filing from Samsung:

“Samsung continues to reserve all rights to obtain reimbursement from Apple and/or payment by AAPL of all amounts required to be paid as taxes. […] 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.”

Not surprisingly, Apple disagrees

In a filing of its own yesterday, Apple made it clear that it “disputes Samsung’s asserted rights to reimbursement.”

Expect this one to drag on for another couple of years.