We have all been waiting for this truce. Two of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers in the world as well as archrivals, Apple and Samsung have finally decided to put things behind them and settle all existing patent disputes between the two companies in courts outside the US. This move is touted to ease off tensions and disputes between the companies in over eight countries worldwide. Samsung and Apple have maintained that the more high profile cases currently being handled by US courts would continue as usual. The companies also mentioned that the agreement would not consider any licensing arrangements.
The feud between Apple and Samsung is not something new and has been in the news for quite some time now. Both companies have openly attacked each other in US courts and outside over patent infringements and smartphone features.
Apple first started it in 2011 by suing Samsung for copying essential features of its iPhone. Samsung then went ahead to sue Apple for patent infringement in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy and the UK, with the later filing countersuits for these cases in five of these countries. The new agreement would see the companies dismissing all these claims except for the ones in US courts.
Earlier this year, Samsung also chose to withdraw its injunction requests over the use of key patents for a period of five years in Europe. Samsung had been issued a complaint by the EU in 2012 for the same while other companies preferred to license its patents.
The battle between the two giants is still active in the US courts though. Apple has managed to win two jury verdicts in the country, with Samsung being ordered to pay damages of over $ 1 billion in both cases. Samsung has revealed that it would appeal the verdicts.
However, what one has to consider here is where Apple’s legal strategy would lead the company. Apple may have won the latest case in May. However, it was awarded only $119 million in damages in contrast to the $2.2 billion it had sought. In addition to this, the company has failed to collect money from Samsung for both cases and achieve its aim of banning the sales of specific Samsung phones and tablets.
Apple seems to have realized the futility of these litigations. Last week, it dropped an appeal against Samsung for a judgment in a former trial where it was denied the right to seek injunction against many Samsung products. This goes to show that even though it is hesitant in letting go of the US litigation, Apple would slowly come to terms with the fact that a truce would be a better option rather than fighting a losing battle in court.
Samsung and Apple have finally decided to bury the hatchet and dismiss all their patent infringement cases outside the US courts. While the US litigation case would continue, Apple would most possibly dismiss it as well, considering the fact that it would not benefit much from the verdicts.