Science & technology
Samsung, Apple call truce in patent war outside US
Publish Date: Aug 06, 2014
Samsung, Apple call truce in patent war outside US
A photo illustration showing Apple iPhone 4s (L) and a Samsung Galaxy S3 (R) at a mobile phone shop in Seoul
  • mail
  • img
newvision

SEOUL - Arch-rivals Samsung and Apple decided Wednesday to drop all patent disputes outside the United States, marking a partial ceasefire in a long-running legal war between the world's two largest smartphone makers.
 

Both companies have been locked in a three-year battle of litigative attrition in close to a dozen countries, with each accusing the other of infringing on various patents related to their flagship smartphone and tablet products.
 

But neither has managed to deliver a knock-out blow with a number of rulings going different ways, and Wednesday's announcement suggested a line was finally being drawn.
 

"Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States," Samsung said in a statement.
 

However, the agreement came with one key caveat, with the two giants stressing that they would continue "to pursue the existing cases in US courts."
 

The patent row kicked off in earnest back in 2011, when Apple sued Samsung in a US court, and swiftly went trans-continental with cases being heard in South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italia, the Netherlands, England, France and Australia among others.
 

Apple has accused its South Korean rival of massive and wilful copying of its designs and technology for smartphones and tablets, and has asked for a bar on US sales of Samsung smartphones and tablet computers.
 

Samsung has counter-claimed that Apple had used some of its technology without permission.
 

The two firms had been pushed into talks in early February by a US court order that saw Apple CEO Tim Cook and his Samsung mobile communications counterpart JK Shin attend a full-day negotiation session, along with their advisors and legal teams.
 

But despite several follow-ups, the mediator's settlement proposal was not taken up and the litigation continued.
 

In the latest development in May, a jury in federal court in California awarded Apple close to $120 million in damages in one of its patent suits with Samsung.
 

The award was only a fraction of the more than $2 billion Apple had sought at the outset of the trial, and the result was seen as partial victory for both sides.

Law of diminishing returns

Daishin Securities analyst Claire Kim said the two companies appeared to have tired of a lengthy, costly process that was producing no tangible dividends.



"They now realise there is no reason to continue their battle outside the US, because their lawsuits have produced so little results," Kim told AFP.


When the lawsuits first started flying Samsung and Apple were the undisputed kings of the global smartphone market and their legal wrangles were seen as a fight for supremacy.


But that situation has changed, as developed markets have become increasingly saturated and emerging markets more competitive with the rise of Chinese manufacturers like Lenovo, Xiaomi and Huawei.


"There's no more merit in the old strategy of expanding market share through attacks on rivals," Kim told AFP.

Samsung's share price closed 1.22 percent lower on Seoul's main stock exchange after Wednesday's announcement.

Samsung's second-quarter net profit plunged 19.6 percent from a year ago to 6.25 trillion won ($6.1 billion), as competition from cheap Chinese phones and the strong won saw sales slump in its key mobile business.


Alarm bells have been sounding for a while over Samsung's reliance on smartphone sales in mature markets such as Europe and the United States.


Efforts to expand sales in emerging markets, most notably China, have stumbled over the growing challenge posed by smaller rivals producing cheaper handsets.


There is a general consensus that smartphone evolution has hit a barrier that will only allow incremental improvements on existing design and technology, rather than market-changing reinvention.

AFP

Related Stories

Apple and Samsung renew patent battle in court

Samsung to pay Apple $290m (£180m) for copying phones

Apple, Google settle smartphone patent war

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Rosetta comet-landing is Science
The top scientific breakthrough of 2014 was the European Space Agency''s Rosetta spacecraft''s rendez-vous with a comet....
N. Korea denies involvement in Sony cyber attack
North Korea's UN mission denies involvement in a cyber attack on Sony Pictures after the US FBI said it had evidence that Pyongyang was behind the hacking....
Sony hack a
Cyber attacks that ultimately prompted Sony Pictures to scrap the release of a madcap comedy about North Korea are a "serious national security matter," the White House said...
Apple co-founder Wozniak skeptical on smartwatches, Google Glass
Steve Wozniak says he is no fan of smartwatches and believes Google Glass will fail as he cautioned not to expect the company he co-founded, Apple, to always lead the way into new technologies....
Hackers trick way into ICANN computers
The private agency that acts as a gatekeeper for the Internet on Wednesday said that hackers tricked their way into its computers....
Venus probe ends after it runs out of fuel
The space probe that spent eight years carrying out a detailed analysis of Venus is out of fuel, and is set to die....
Do you agree with the ban on the export of maids?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter