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August 6, 2014

Apple-Samsung call truce outside US

Smartphone makers agree to withdraw all legal cases

By Vinod

Apple and Samsung have called a partial truce by agreeing to withdraw all legal cases against each other outside the US.

The two rivals have been engaged in bitter patent disputes in nine countries, including UK, South Korea, Japan and Germany.

In a joint statement, the companies said: "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."

Samsung and Apple are the world’s two biggest smartphone manufacturers, which have constantly locked horns with each other. The legal battles began in 2011 when Apple first sued Samsung in the US, accusing it of copying features of the iPhone.

Samsung, in turn, has sued Apple for patent infringement in South Korea, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and the UK. These included patents on a way to synchronise photos, music and video files across several devices, and a method to capture and send video over the internet. Apple, then subsequently filed countersuits in five countries.

But the US is where the main action is being played out. Apple has an upper hand there as it has already won two jury verdicts in a US District Court in San Jose, California, which ordered Samsung to pay damages totaling more than $1m for copying features of the iPhone. Samsung has said it would appeal both decisions.

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Apple was also awarded $119m in damages to be paid by Samsung in the latest trial, which ended in May. But Apple wasn’t very happy about it as the amount was far short of the $2.2bn figure it sought. Plus, it failed to secure an injunction against Samsung on sales of certain phones and tablets.

But the court also ruled that Apple infringed Samsung’s patents and awarded $158,000 in damages, reported the BBC.

Samsung denied all the charges and sought $6m after accusing Apple of infringing two of its smartphone patents related to camera use and video transmission.

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