Apple and Samsung drop legal cases outside of US

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Smartphone rivals reach agreement

After three years of legal battles over alleged patent infringement, smartphone rivals Apple and Samsung have decided to drop all of the non-US patent lawsuits they have filed against each other.

In April 2011 Apple began the legal wrangling by issuing a federal complaint about Samsung and filing multiple lawsuits. Apple claimed that Samsung's Android phones and tablets were an infringement on its intellectual property in several ways, including patents, trademarks, user interface set-ups and general aesthetic style.

In May 2014 a California jury decided that Samsung should pay Apple just short of $120 million (£71 million) for violation of two patents, one of which was the 'slide-to-unlock' feature.

Apple had sought a much higher figure of $2.2 billion (£1.3 billion), and Samsung, who wanted $6 million (£3.5 million) in damages, was awarded just over $158,000 (£93,800).

Lawsuits now US only

The two companies have now come to an agreement to keep their lawsuits within the US, meaning that cases currently going on in Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea and Spain will cease.

Samsung said: "[We] and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States. This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the two companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in US courts."

Both companies released quarterly earnings reports last month, which revealed that Apple is currently flourishing and Samsung is striving to improve.

Samsung reported its worst earnings since 2012, while Apple said it had generated $37.4 billion (£21.9 billion) in revenue and $7.7 billion (£4.5 billion) in profit. iPhone sales were also up last quarter, despite the release of the iPhone 6 widely rumoured to be as soon as this autumn.

Adrian Mursec, head of development at theEword, commented: "Even though they are continuing their US lawsuits, this is a huge step back from both Samsung and Apple. With the hitherto mysterious iPhone 6 due out sometime soon, we could see it heat up again within the next few months."