Apple and Samsung call a truce on patent disputes outside US

The two largest smartphone manufacturers have agreed to end bitter legal battles in nine countries outside the US.
The two largest smartphone manufacturers have agreed to end bitter legal battles in nine countries outside the US.

APPPLE and Samsung have announced in a joint statement that they are dropping all patent lawsuits against one another in countries outside of America.

The news is an unexpected U-turn in what has been an increasingly bitter and drawn-out battle between the two smartphone manufacturers (although court battles will continue in the US).

The agreement means disputes will be dropped in eight countries including the UK, France, Germany, Australia and Japan.

The settlement comes as Samsung struggles with declining market share (it's slice shrunk by 7.4 per cent in the last quarter compared to 2013) while Apple prepares to launch the iPhone 6 - rumoured to hit shelves next month.

The legal running battle between the two began in 2011 after Apple sued Samsung for "slavishly" copying the design of the iPhone.

The South Korean firm responded by countersuing Apple in countries outside the US, with both sides' patents covering everything from how data is synced across devices to (famously) the design of any rectangular smartphone with rounded corners.

Apple has so far won two patent battles against Samsung in US courts but has received far less in damages than demanded ($119.6m compared to $2.2bn) and has also been forced to disclose many embarrassing secrets about the internal politics of the company.

Court documents revealed that Steve Jobs had described their rivalry with Google as "holy war" and that Samsung was equally obsessed with Apple, describing its efforts to best the iPhone as its "#1 priority" in an internal memo titled 'BEAT APPLE'.

Topics:  apple intellectual property samsung technology

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