Apple, Samsung Agree to End all Patent Disputes Outside U.S.

Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all patent disputes against each other outside the US, reports Bloomberg. Both companies will drop suits in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the U.K., France and Italy.

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


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Recently, in June, both companies agreed to drop their appeals a patent infringement case to make peace with each other. Also, Apple secured a USD 1 billion victory over Samsung in US in 2012, but disputes have still continued between both companies.

According to IDC report, “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.” The market researcher also added that, Samsung controlled about 31 percent of the global market last year, compared with Apple’s 15 percent.

Business Today says: Some analysts said the two companies would eventually bury the hatchet and sign a cross-licensing deal, following the usual pattern of patent cases in the technology industry.

There were earlier signs that tensions had eased between two companies. The two agreed to drop their appeals at the US International Trade Commission in June.

But at other times, it seemed the differences were too wide to be bridged. The chief executives of both companies reportedly met several times at the recommendation of a US judge to discuss out of court settlements.

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Business Week says: Michael Risch, a law professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, said in an e-mail that the deal shows how Apple and Samsung see their “mixed worldwide results as not worth the effort.” Yet he cautioned that since there is no cross-licensing agreement, the companies may “just be taking a breather before the next skirmish begins.”

The U.S. continues to be a legal battleground, Risch added, as the smartphone market shares for Apple and Samsung shift. Chinese makers Huawei Technologies Co. and Lenovo Group Ltd. (992) are gaining ground globally by offering feature-packed phones at lower prices.

More from Bloomberg: “The whole industry paradigm is changing,” Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co. in Seoul, said by phone. “Apple and Samsung have no time to waste and it’s time to get back to work.”

Complicating the legal spat has been that Apple and Samsung are close business partners, with Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung providing critical components like semiconductors and memory chips for Apple’s mobile devices.

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