Apple and Samsung have agreed to end all patent lawsuits outside the US, reports Bloomberg. The decision comes after three years of litigation. Legal actions between the two companies will come to an end in countries including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Australia
In a joint statement, the two companies said:
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 U.S. courts.
Apple has accused Samsung of copying its iPhone designs and infringing on software patents, while Samsung countered stating that Cupertino company used its wireless technologies without permission. Neither side had achieved an overall victory, with judges urging the two companies to settle rather than continue to fight it out in court.
After years of bitter patent disputes in courts all over the world, this announcement is a significant step towards reducing hostility between the two smartphone giants. The two companies will, however, continue to pursue cases in the US. This is perhaps due to the value of cases in the US which have come with bigger awards for damages, such as the 2012-13 trial which ended in a decision to award Apple $930 million and a May, 2014 verdict to award Apple $119 million and Samsung $158,400.
With new iPhone and Samsung Galaxy hardware on the horizon, it remains to be seen if international litigation will resume in future.