updated 03:57 pm EST, Fri December 28, 2012
Withdrawal based on Samsung promises to not sell handset in US
Apple has filed to exclude a new Samsung phone from its next smartphone patent trial with the Korean manufacturer. The complaint against the Galaxy S III Mini has been withdrawn, according to a court filing in the US District Court in San Jose, CA. Samsung claims to not be "making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States," despite Apple being able to procure samples through authorized retailers such as Amazon.
European sales of the Galaxy S III Mini commenced in November, with the device aimed at the target market of the iPhone 5. Apple added the device to the second suit in November, along with several models of tablet.
Apple has agreed to withdraw the patent claims based on Samsung's promises to not offer it in the US, with the condition that "the current withdrawal will not prejudice Apple's ability later to accuse the Galaxy S III Mini if the factual circumstances change" presumably referring to a future release of the phone in the US.
The pair of suits were brought by Apple after Samsung ignored warnings in 2010 from both the iPhone maker and its rival Google that Samsung's products were too derivative of Apple's designs in both trade dress and software. Apple has accused the company of "slavishly" copying from its innovations, down to the particular shade of green used in the identical "phone" icon.
Samsung countersued Apple, claiming it had in fact infringed on two of Samsung's patents, for which it asked for $400 million in compensation. The claims from Samsung were wholly rejected by the first trial jury, and the company was awarded nothing. Apple was awarded $1 billion in damages, which could still be tripled if determined to be wilful infringement.
The jury trial that the devices were added to today spawned the sales injunctions on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The second trial is likely to take place in late 2013 or 2014.