Apple, Samsung End Bitter Patent Litigation Outside US
Apple and Samsung agreed yesterday to mutually dismiss all their patent lawsuits outside the US. This impacts pending litigation and related matters in roughly eight separate countries. However, the companies are still slugging it out in the U.S.
A joint statement issued yesterday said the following:
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.
It’s not entirely clear why this semi-truce is happening now — after millions upon millions in legal fees have already been spilled around the globe. (The gravy train is over for most of the attorneys on the various cases.) Perhaps the parties have started to recognize both the waste and the futility of the mutual litigation.
It has had little or no impact on the marketplace. Samsung has roughly double the global market share of Apple today.
Apple has adopted a number of features of the Android OS over the years, but it’s also undeniable that Samsung has copied hardware and software features of the iPhone.
Indeed, the new Samsung flagship device appears to borrow the current iPhone’s shape and hardware design (albeit with a larger screen). When the iPhone 6 is unveiled in September, with its 4.7-inch screen, we’ll see whether or how much it resembles existing large-screen Android handsets.
In the U.S., Apple is still pursuing injunctions against Samsung and trying to collect more than a billion dollars in damages from two successful jury verdicts against the Korean company.