Apple and Samsung Call Peace For All Non-US Patent Battles
After years of patent battles between Apple and Samsung, both of the companies have finally agreed to end all non-US litigation. But that doesn’t end the patent disputes in the U.S., and they will continue to pursue existing cases in the United States with more focus.
Apple and Samsung are two of the biggest players in the smartphone industry. The war between the two companies began in 2011 when Apple sued Samsung in the U.S. claiming that Samsung copied features of Apple’s iPhone and iPad in its Galaxy phones and tablets.
Samsung then filed countersuits in various countries other than U.S. and claimed that Apple copied their way of synchronizing photos and videos across several devices. Recent patent war was about “slide to unlock” feature, which Apple claimed to be copied by Samsung.
Some of the important court decisions were made in Germany and Japan. The German court invalidated Apple’s “slide to unlock” patent. The court said that Apple’s swipe gesture “doesn’t meet certain requirements of European patent law” and was deemed “software as such”. It was also noted that this so-called inventive step was not a technical innovation to a technical problem.
All of these non-U.S. litigations will now be ended as a result of the deal struck between Apple and Samsung. However, this deal “does not involve any licensing arrangements” and both companies will now focus on two on-going cases, both of which are in appeals phase in California courts.
This agreement could mean that both companies have realized that they need to focus on the other issues as many competitors have come to the scene. Xiaomi has sold more units than Samsung in China and looks to continue their success in other regions as well. As for Apple, Microsoft has undergone a paradigm shift and looks to target enterprises which Apple seems to dominate.
This could also mean that both companies have now decided to stop wasting their time and money on court rulings as the current CEO of Apple Tim Cook doesn’t seem as determined to patent wars as the former CEO Steve Jobs who fought with Microsoft for years.
The deal is good for both Apple and Samsung, but how long it will hold is unsure as current patent battles could again become thick air between the two companies. All in all, if both companies keep their conflicts aside and work together, it would be better for the smartphone industry and the companies as well.
Source: Financial Times
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