Apple Inc disclosed on Friday an agreement to withdraw patent claims against Samsung [corporate websites] in the US District Court for Northern California [official website] for a new Samsung phone, Galaxy S III Mini, that the South Korea-based company said it was not offering for sale in the US market. Samsung began sales [Reuters report] of the Mini in Europe this October following Apple's release of its iPhone 5 [product backgrounder]. Despite allegations from Apple that the Mini could be purchased and shipped to the US, Samsung has continuously asserted that the product will neither encroach upon Apple's US market sales nor enter the country's stream of commerce. Last month, the same federal court allowed Apple to add claims [JURIST report] against Samsung's Galaxy S III Mini, Galaxy Note, and the Jelly Bean operating system to the original lawsuit filed in February of this year. Originally filed by Apple, the lawsuit alleges that the various Samsung smart phones and tablets infringe eight of Apple's patents, and in response Samsung has filed cross-complaints alleging that Apple's iPhone and iPad infringe eight of its patents. The lawsuit is one of two pending patent infringement cases [materials] between the two companies, and is currently scheduled for trial in 2014.
Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in continuous patent litigation in courts around the world. In October, the Dutch Rechtbank's-Gravenhage [official website] court ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple software patent. That same month, a UK court also ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple design patent. In the same time frame Apple appealed a Tokyo District Court ruling [JURIST report] which dismissed the company's claim that Samsung had infringed on its patents. At the beginning of October, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] reversed an injunction [JURIST report] against Samsung that prevented it from selling its Galaxy Nexus [product backgrounder]. Earlier in August, Apple won a $1.05 billion judgment [JURIST report] in the Northern District of California against Samsung involving other patent infringements.