Apple has seemingly mirrored Samsung’s recent actions of dropping patent claims in the EU by withdrawing a patent claim against them in the US — the device in question, the Samsung Galaxy S III mini.
Have Apple and Samsung suddenly started exchanging pleasantries in the form of dropping patent claims? Apparently that isn’t the case. We already know that the reason for Samsung dropping its bid to ban Apple devices in the EU stemmed from the fear of a potential $15 billion fine by the European Commission over its misuse of standards-essential patents in litigation with Apple. Apple, meanwhile, seems to be dropping the claims against the Galaxy S III mini in the US because it might not even be sold there after all. This is according to Reuters:
Apple Inc has agreed to withdraw patent claims against a new Samsung phone with a high-end display after Samsung said it was not offering to sell the product in the crucial U.S. market.
What makes this interesting is the fact that Apple’s lawyers noted in the filing that they were able to “purchase multiple units of the Mini from Amazon.com Inc’s U.S. retail site and have them delivered in the United States”. Samsung’s response was that it is not “making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States”.
Apple then withdrew their claims on the grounds that “the current withdrawal will not prejudice Apple’s ability later to accuse the Galaxy S III Mini if the factual circumstances change”.
Just when it looks like the two rivals are beginning to play nice, we find out the true motives behind their actions. Apple versus Samsung is far from over.