Samsung and Apple are the two biggest heavyweights in the phone and tablet game, and their battles – in ads, stores, and courtrooms alike – have carried on intensely for a few years now. But perhaps not for much longer.
The two companies have issued a joint statement noting that they have agreed to stop pursuing legal action against each other everywhere outside of the United States, with complaints in the UK, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, the Netherlands, and South Korea to be withdrawn.
No licensing agreements have been struck as a result of this change in approach; the companies simply seem ready to let well enough be and stop draining each others’ resources in battles that drag on and on and rarely seem to result in meaningful, current devices being withdrawn from retail.
As noted, this agreement doesn’t pertain to claims filed in the United States, which is where the biggest dollar-amount decisions have come to date. Just this past May, a jury awarded Apple US$119,625,000 (about £71,000,000) in damages, while Samsung was owed just US$158,400 (about £94,000) for infringement by Apple in the decision.
Also back in May, Apple and Google’s Motorola agreed to settle their own disputes and work towards patent reform, so it’s a bit of a trend now. While the rah-rah, tit-for-tat showdowns work fans into a frenzy and make for great headlines, it’s surely becoming clearer to device makers that constant legal battles serve mainly to distract, as well as exhaust serious resources and energy.
[Source: The Verge]