Apple and Samsung seem only to take a break from filing lawsuits against each other to – and this is rare – release a new gadget. However, the Korean company appears today to have taken the first steps to some form of mediation by dropping a series of patent infringement suits against its bitter rival in nations across Europe.
The Galaxy maker has announced its intention to drop numerous lawsuits against Apple in Europe-based nations including Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
In the past few hours, Apple request to have a mammoth 26 Samsung devices banned from sale in the United States was rejected, and although that decision is not connected the cases in Europe, it seems to have had a knock-on effect on Samsung’s thinking. In a statement to TheVerge, Samsung spoke much like a company that has grown tired of the fanfare of the courtroom, and would like to focus more on competing in the market:
We strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court. In this spirit, Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple.. in the interest of protecting consumer choice.
Although the courtroom slog is somewhat entertaining at times, we as consumers certainly prefer to see the large tech companies attempt to outdo each other in the products they make – not the cases they can create.
Apple received a significant damages payout after the recent court case in San Jose, and with that – allied to the fact the Cupertino has always been seen as in favor of these lawsuits – Samsung’s apparent plea for an amicable resolution may fall on deaf ears.
It’s worth pointing out that both companies still work together, and although Apple has been seen to be decreasing its reliability on Samsung for vital hardware parts in its products, Tim Cook did mention earlier this year that Samsung remained an "important manufacturing partner".
While it would appear as though Samsung wants to try and end this continual trend of suing and countersuing, another theory suggests Samsung has dropped the case thanks to an antitrust investigation. FRAND ensures companies license patents on a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory basis, but on this occasion, there were suspicions Samsung had not been in compliance.
If there was another reason behind the sudden change of heart in these European cases, the details are sure to emerge in the coming days.