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Samsung Withdraws SEP Claims from Lawsuit against Apple

Samsung Electronics has removed three standard-essential patents claims from its legal battle with Apple. The parties agreed to remove the claims from one of the lawsuits in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, last week on Friday. In the matter, Apple first sued Samsung, and then Samsung had filed a counterclaim.

According to the document filed in the California federal court, Samsung has withdrawn all SEP related claims in the case. SEPs are required to be licensed according to FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms.

Following Samsung’s withdrawal of the claims, Apple too agreed to dismiss its defenses to the claims, including FRAND counterclaims. However, both parties, according to the document, reserved their rights to reassert their claims.

In 2012, Samsung had dropped all SEP related claims pending in European courts which it had used to try to ban Apple products in Europe. A few days after Samsung dropped its claims, the European Commission announced that Samsung’s use of SEPs may be a violation of EU antitrust laws and abuse of its dominant position.



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When Apple, following the same reasoning, told ITC that Samsung should also drop similar claims in U.S., the company disagreed. The US ITC went on to decide last year that older models of iPhone and iPad should be banned from import to the US as they infringed on a Samsung SEP. However, President Obama vetoed that decision holding that bans based on SEPs would create a business environment harmful to competition.

The document filed by the parties in court observed that by agreeing to remove the claims, “the parties wish to further narrow and streamline the trial in this matter to avoid overburdening the jury and the court.”

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