Apple Inc. (AAPL), Samsung Electronics (005935) Drop Patent Cases Abroad

Samsung Korea HQ

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) (LON:BC94) agreed to drop  the patent lawsuits against each other outside the United States. Both companies will no longer pursue patent litigation in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea and United Kingdom, according to 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.”

In June, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) (LON:BC94) showed signs of scaling down the patent war when the companies agreed to abandon their appeals related to a patent infringement case in the United States .

The Cupertino-based tech giant alleged that the South Korean electronics manufacturer copied the designs of the iPhone. On the other hand, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) (LON:BC94) accused Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) of infringing some of its wireless-transmission technology.

Both companies have been fighting each other in courts in different countries for several years, and have been coughing up millions of dollars without a clear winner particularly in key markets. Judges repeatedly encouraged the companies to settle their disputes.

In an e-mail to Bloomberg, Law professor Michael Risch at Villanova University in Pennsylvania opined that the agreement demonstrated that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) (LON:BC94) perceived their “mixed worldwide results as not worth the effort.”

Professor Risch also made an assumption regarding the possibility that both companies may “just be taking a breather before the next skirmish begins” since there is no cross-licensing agreement yet. In addition, he emphasized that the United States remained a legal battleground for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) (LON:BC94).

On the other hand, Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities commented, “The whole industry paradigm is changing. Apple and Samsung have no time to waste and it’s time to get back to work.”

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) (LON:BC94) are not just competitors, but also business partners. The South Korean electronics company supplies important parts such as microprocessors, memory chips and screens for the mobile devices of the Cupertino-based tech giant.