Apple and Samsung drop all patent lawsuits outside the US

Apple and Samsung drop all patent lawsuits outside the US

Summary: In a totally unexpected move, Apple and Samsung, who've fought patent wars around the globe, agreed to drop all their cases outside of the US.

(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

Apple and Samsung agreed on Tuesday to drop their patent lawsuits outside the US. But their patent war isn't over yet. The two technology giants will continue to battle on within the US courts system.

The joint statement reads:

"Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States. This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in US courts."

Before this the two companies had warred in patent courts in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the U.K., France and Italy.

For example in Australia, some products, such as the Samsung Galaxy 10.1, were blocked from sale for a period of time. During which, Samsung sought to make some of Apple's patents in Australia invalid on grounds of legal technicality. Similar legal maneuvers and counter-maneuvers happened around the globe.

Bloomberg speculated that Apple and Samsung may be nearing a conclusion in their heated worldwide patent fight. The root cause of their battles started with Apple accusing Samsung of copying its iPhone designs. Samsung countered, claiming that Apple was, "using pieces of its wireless-transmission technology without permission."

Neither have landed a knockout blow. Judges have often encouraged the two biggest smartphone global companies to reach a settlement rather than continue their courtroom battles.

The major battles have been fought in Apple's back yard in the US District Court in San Jose, California. Apple won numerous times in the court, but its victories have amounted to little. And, Samsung, of course, has appealed these victories.

In Walter Isaacson's biography of the late Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder said: "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

It appears, however, that incumbent Apple chief executive Tim Cook has far less interest in fighting an apparently-religious war over smartphones.

With patent trolls attacking both companies, perhaps Apple and Samsung are finally realizing that making patent peace rather than war would serve both companies better.

Related stories:

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Legal, Patents, Samsung

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  • Warm Live Hands

    "The Jobsians can't have my beloved Samsung Android phone unless they pry it from my warm, live hands."
    • Partners, Rivals

      Still, they said in the statement that they aren’t ending the legal battles completely, nor have they reached any cross-licensing agreement. Samsung shares fell in Seoul.

      The world’s top two smartphone makers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees on battles across four continents to dominate a market that was valued at $338.3 billion last year, according to IDC. Samsung controlled about 31 percent of the global market last year, compared with Apple’s 15 percent which is huge.


      Mark Simon
  • Warm Live Hands

    "The Jobsians can't have my beloved Samsung Android phone unless they pry it from my warm, live hands."
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  • It may not be just Apple CEO Tim Cook

    The support of Apple's Board of Directors for the global patent war between Apple and Samsung may also be waning.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
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  • the proof the US patent system is hugely corrupted

    the proof the US patent system is hugely corrupted by Microsoft+Apple+Oracle
    therefore only there can Samsung be "punished" for poor, software, ridiculous patents through corrupted US patent system
    Jiří Pavelec
    • No sense

      You made no sense, other than to show you are a troll.
    • It's not the SYSTEM...

      It's the fact that there are LAWYERS running it.
      • That would be part of the system

        Where there are courts, there are of necessity lawyers.

        Saying "good system, bad lawyers" is a lot like saying "good Tsar, bad ministers".
        John L. Ries
    • What proof?

      I agree that the US patent system is now more about competition suppression than about encouraging new inventions, but I don't see anything in the article or your post that "proves" the system is corrupt.
      John L. Ries
  • Price?

    So, we should see price cuts of around 80% on Samsung and Apple products, now that they don't have to feed the lawyers... :-P
  • Make Better Cheaper Phones

    Not war
    Alan Smithie
    • Apple already makes better phones.

      And Samsung makes cheaper phones, so problem solved.
      • Trolling too hard

        iPhone 4 cracked screen fully functional.
        iPhone 4 liquid damage fully functional.
        iPhone 3g connect to iTune error.

        Samsung Galaxy S relay cracked screen fully functional.
        Samsung Exhibit water damaged/cracked screen fully functional.
        Samsung S Blaze bootloop.

        So please spare me the iPhone is the better phone fanboy nonsense lol. As you can see I've had my share of good & bad fortune. With the phone makers and operating systems.
        Deshawn Greenfield
  • while apple presses its nuisance lawsuits.........

    the tech world is catching up fast with apple and samsung.. big screened, full featured phones of high quality, from companies we've never heard of, are emerging at half the price of the current leaders. apple is only harming the marketplace with its anti-competitive frivolous legal actions
  • Good, now....

    If only Microsoft too could stop being a troll and start to focus on making products that ain't gonna fail rather than failing and using dirty tactics to "compensate".... *sigh*
    • patent troll?

      I don't see any other company spending 9 billion a year on R&D - or should a privately owned company create and then give away innovation rather than create and licence?

      I figure at some stage the IT industry will have to mature to a point where it's like the car companies - in that they spend bucket loads on R&D and then cross licence heaps - when was the last time car companies had to go to court to sort their patent licencing out?
  • wtf?

    ah come on! isn't apple going to thermonuclear destroy android? isn't android gonna stomp all over iphone? or is the fight in the usa all that matters as the final cage match to the death?
    • Steve Jobs is dead

      get over it.
      Jacob VanWagoner