Samsung Drops Patent Counter-Suit Against Apple

Samsung has dropped a patent suit against Apple that was filed in US federal court. The countersuit was filed in response to allegations by Apple that Samsung Galaxy products infringed on its iPhone and iPad designs. Samsung said that they dropped the suit in order to streamline their legal process, and that they will continue to pursue a similar countersuit against Apple which was filed in the same California court.

The two companies are engaged in a complex web of litigation stretching across five courts in five countries, from Germany to the UK, and South Korea to Japan and the US. Samsung’s decision to withdraw one of their California suits will not impact any of the litigation which is ongoing, according to the company. Apple declined to comment on the development. The Apple suit against Samsung claims that the Galaxy designs “slavishly” copy Apple products.

The move by Samsung to drop the California patent countersuit against Apple should not be interpreted as a sign of surrender, but rather a tactical move designed to consolidate and strengthen its legal position. The move will free up Samsung’s legal team to focus on more important courtroom battles with Apple worldwide. While most smartphones and tablets today follow the same basic design, it’s interesting that Apple went after Samsung products specifically in alleging patent infringement.

Samsung’s response has been to raise the stakes against Apple by adding two new patent violation claims into the legal mix, for a total of 17 patents in dispute now between the two companies. They have also filed a complaint with the ITC this week with the purpose of blocking the import of Apple products to the US. Samsung has asserted that it will continue to defend the intellectual property of its products, and that Apple has merely resorted to legal bullying because it can’t really compete with Samsung.