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Samsung drops five European anti-Apple injunction requests

Legal maneuvers circle $346bn pie

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Samsung has withdrawn its request for injunctions to ban sales of Apple's iDevices in five European countries.

"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," Samsung said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

"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."

Always looking out for consumers, those mega-corps, eh?

The move comes just one day after San Francisco judge Lucy Koh split the difference in the ongoing battle between the Korean consumer electronics giant and Cupertino's litigation-happy kit maker, denying Apple's request to stop Samsung from selling some of its older phones in the US while also telling Samsung that, no, they can't have a new trial in the dispute that landed Apple a $1.05bn victory in a patent-infringement case that found that Samsung had copied iPhone and iPad features.

Although Samsung's Tuesday move lifts the threat to Apple of having to stop sales of its phones and fondleslabs in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, the Koreans aren't giving up their European battle against Apple entirely. They're still suing Apple for compensation over selected technology licences.

"Samsung did not withdraw its lawsuits in Europe," a Samsung spokesman told the Associated Press; "the lawsuits are very much in place."

It's unknown whether the decision to drop the request for the European injunctions is related to any behind-the-scenes negotiations between Apple and Samsung. But The Reg wouldn't be surprised to learn that there's more than a little back-room wrangling going on.

There's a pile o' cash at stake in this dust-up. As Bloomberg points out, one research group has pegged the mobile device market to be worth $346bn this year alone. That's more than enough to pay for two well-compensated legal teams. ®

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