Apple and Samsung Make International Cease-Fire, But Maintain U.S. Battlegrounds

August 6, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Samsung v Apple, Apple v Samsung.  We’ve seen the two giants stomping about the globe in courts everywhere, trying to kick holes in the other’s sail and sales (and ability to sell, depending on which cases you look at).  But today, the two masters of mobile, the dueling kings of the smartphone world reached something worthy of the term ‘peace’, in an agreement with international implications.

The Cupertino-based Apple Inc. and Seoul-based Samsung Electronics Co. finally, as of today, have put out in a statement that the two companies’ international legal disputes are to be called off entirely, ending the global assault on courtrooms.  Not, the word international though.  The two have said that the existing court cases within the United states, sadly, will continue and be fought as with any normal case, to their respective finishes and results.

This is great news for the rest of the globe’s courtrooms and judges, as the two have been suing back and forth for years, over the theft of iPhone-like phone design(s) and transmission technologies.  The nations that this affects directly (had cases raging before today’s announcement, that is) are Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

But what are the reasons for the agreement, and why keep the U.S.-based suits going strong while ending international feuding?  Well, it seems as though Samsung has had its success only in small amounts, and only in non-U.S. courtrooms, but it seems as though both companies realized and recognized that the suits were gaining each other nothing besides legal fees and time/resource-dedication to not-phones.  Also interesting to consider are Apple’s success and patents, which stem from its home nation of America.  Apple has had remarkable success with various patents and lawsuits against Samsung Electronics in American courts, and likely hopes to inflict real business damage to the Korean company as the rest of the cases play out.  Another reason may be that the effects, whatever they would have been, in the foreign nations, were not significant or relevant enough to warrant further litigation.  But the United States, where the demand for Apple and Samsung smartphones is large, especially since the demand is trending toward Samsung devices and away from Apple’s for various reasons.

Regardless of the reasoning and the duration of this cease-fire (and that is what it seems to be, as no cross-licensing or permanent plans were announced or mentioned by either company), it is great news and makes many of us that are tired of the constant legal bickering, one being myself, relieved even if just for the moment, or until Samsung and Apple release their fall flagships (the Apple iPhone 6/Air and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, both of which whose names are yet to be finalized, and are still entirely rumor-based as of now).  Regardless, rejoice, consumers and international judges alike.  There is peace in international waters for once.  Let’s hope this ends in U.S. as well, however doubtful we may be.