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In a major development, Apple and Samsung have called a truce on most of their patent disputes. The tech giants have agreed to abandon patent lawsuits outside the United States, ending legal battles in countries including Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
The companies said in a joint statement that Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States. The agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in U.S. courts.
Apple and Samsung have been engaged in tit-for-tat series of lawsuits since 2011. Many of the disputes involved the design of smartphones, a lucrative sector that the two companies dominate.
Apple had accused Samsung of multiple patent infringements, including on the hardware design of the iPhone. Samsung alleged that all generations of the iPhone and iPad infringe on its own patents.
Amidst the signs that tensions are easing, the two companies aren’t completely giving up the fight. Lawsuits in the U.S. where Apple has win in two cases will continue. Apple has been awarded about $1 billion in those cases, far less than the company was asking. Samsung is appealing the decisions.
Samsung, in particular, still faces significant legal challenges over patents.