The ongoing patent wars between Samsung (News - Alert) and Apple have a new development, as earlier today, Samsung said that it was withdrawing requests it made of European authorities to ban the sales of some Apple (News - Alert) products. This shouldn't be looked at as surrender, though, as reports indicate that Samsung is still in the fray on several technology licensing lawsuits.
Samsung said it is pulling back on the injunction requests basically for the market's sake, saying it is “protecting consumer choice” in the target area. While said target area wasn't exactly well-defined, reports indicated that Samsung was falling back in France, the U.K, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy.
Additionally, Samsung recently won something of a victory of its own in a United States case, as a judge in San Francisco said on Monday that Samsung could continue selling its own devices in the United States, despite the recent jury verdict that Samsung's devices were illegally using technology from Apple. Whether the two events were related, however, isn't clear, but it doubtless comes as welcome news to Samsung, which can now continue to sell three older models of smartphones in the United States.
With $100 billion at stake—at last report, the size of the overall global smartphone market—and Apple and Samsung alike easily among the biggest players in same, it's not hard to see why they're fighting tooth and nail, taking their cases to court in a bid to protect their respective product lines from, essentially, each other. The issue only gets more complex when it's considered that Samsung builds quite a bit of Apple's components, so trying to separate Apple technology from Samsung technology from Samsung technology based at least somewhat on Apple technology can't be an easy path. With the Windows Phone (News - Alert) beginning to make some inroads as well, both Apple and Samsung need to cement their positions to fend off a rival that has plenty of market capital and technological prowess, perhaps sufficiently so to tear away some of their market.
The ongoing battle between Apple and Samsung isn't likely to fade away anytime soon. It may well change the overall landscape of the mobile device market as we know it one way or another, so it should prove worthwhile to track the progress made by each of the two firms for some time to come as each jockeys for supremacy in a major market.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey