Samsung Drops Patent-Infringement Lawsuits Against Apple In Europe

Korean electronics giant Samsung has today announced that it will drop its patent-infringement lawsuits against Apple in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The announcement comes just hours after Apple was denied its request to have 26 Samsung devices banned in the United States — though the two cases are unrelated.

Samsung said in a statement to The Verge today:

“Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court. In this spirit, Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple on the basis of our standard essential patents pending in European courts, in the interest of protecting consumer choice.”

It’s unclear why Samsung has had a sudden change of heart. It has been involved in several bitter disputes with Apple for many, many months in a number of countries around the world, but the two companies also work closely together — Samsung supplies a number of components to Apple for its Mac and iOS devices.

Some speculate that Samsung has dropped the injunction request as a result of an antitrust investigation over suspicions the company had refused fair access to its patents on standardized mobile technologies. The European Commission announced back in January that it would investigate whether the Galaxy Tab maker had violated EU antitrust laws, which state companies must license patents on a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis.

Samsung is also being investigated in Korea following complaints from Apple that the company was abusing its wireless patents on its home turf.