A significant portion of the international patent wars between Apple and Samsung have been brought to a close, according to a joint statement issued by the parties:
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.
We note that the statement is similar to the one that issued following resolution of the disputes between Apple and Google this May.
Since 2011, Apple and Samsung have been involved in cross-infringement actions in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, South Korea, and the U.K. Many of these non-U.S. cases involved significant SEP-related rulings. You may recall that earlier this year, the Japanese High Court denied Samsung injunctive relief against Apple while allowing FRAND-based damages on the asserted SEPs (see our May 21, 2014 post). In a separate proceeding related to the European Commission’s investigation of Samsung’s SEP enforcement against Apple, Samsung committed to not pursue any injunctions in the European Economic Area for a period of five years based on any SEPs related to smartphone/tablet technologies against companies that agree to a predetermined licensing framework, as discussed in our April 30, 2014 post.
Although litigation abroad has been brought to a close, the U.S. dispute between the companies moves forward — albeit without any notable SEP issues for the time being. In March, Judge Koh granted Apple and Samsung’s request to dismiss without prejudice Samsung’s SEP infringement claims and Apple’s related FRAND defenses and counterclaims (see our March 12, 2014 post).