Talking tech since 2003

The ever-ongoing legal drama between tech giants Apple and Samsung just took a giant step towards ending. According to Bloomberg, the two companies have announced an agreement to cease all litigation – well, almost.

The territories where litigation will be dropped include Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. However, it’s interesting to see that the two companies haven’t actually signed any kind of cross-licensing agreement. It would seem that they’re simply looking to slim down the number of legal battles they’ll continue to wage, as their fight in US courts will continue on for the foreseeable future.

Part of that may be because the United States market is particularly rich with potential customers, so fighting over patent primacy might end up being more lucrative overall. Moreover, a lot of money has been spent on the litigation here already, and the two companies may not want to abandon their legal battle here until they see some sort of return on their investment. The downside there, of course, is that only one company will ever see that return, really – if ever.

That said, perhaps the two tech giants will find a way to make peace stateside, too. Back in May we’d heard that they had resumed talks to try and settle their differences. On the other hand, as the Bloomberg post points out, the fact that they haven’t signed a licensing agreement and that they didn’t bother to drop US litigation shows that they’re far from friends. In fact, they’re probably just looking to consolidate their legal efforts. Ending their conflict overseas only points to the fact that the decisions arrived at by non-US courts haven’t been lucrative enough to continue to pursue them.

It will be interesting to see how these two companies manage to end their feud here in the United States, because it can’t go on forever.

Can it?

[Source: Bloomberg]

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