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Samsung and Apple agree to drop legal disputes outside the US

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Apple and Samsung are making peace — at least outside the United States. In a surprise move late Tuesday, the two companies said they were dropping all litigation outside the country.

"Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States," the two companies said in a joint statement to The Verge. "This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in U.S. courts."

The big cases have been in the US

Those US court cases are the biggest among the international battles in terms of dollar figures, with Apple winning just over $1 billion in damages in the first trial between the two companies. The second, which was decided back in May, resulted in smaller figures. A jury found that both companies had infringed on one another's patents, putting Samsung on the hook for $119.6 million, and Apple down for $158,400. Even so, neither of those trials has resulted in bans of recent products, with those phones and tablets often outpacing the speed of the law.

The agreement affects complaints that were remaining in Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, and the UK. Some of those — including Australia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the Netherlands — were brought on by Apple, while the rest were counterclaims brought on by Samsung. While the US cases carry more weight in terms of potential dollar amounts, some of the international suits have come with a bite, including an Apple win in Germany that forced Samsung to redesign one of its Galaxy tablets to avoid a sales ban.

Both companies have met numerous times to hash out a possible settlement deal, talks that have gone nowhere. There have been hints an end could be near though, including a settlement between Apple and Motorola Mobility back in May that had both companies agreeing to work on patent reform.