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Samsung drops European lawsuits against rival Apple

Samsung will drop all its requests to have Apple products banned in Europe, the Korean company has announced.

Specifically, it will withdraw its claims for injunctions against Apple in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, saying it wishes to "protect consumer choice."

"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," the firm said in a statement.

"We strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court," it added.

However, the company also put forth that it would continue some of its litigation efforts against Apple. Samsung is currently involved in several patent disputes against Apple where it is seeking damages, claiming that its US rival has violated standard-essential patent regulations, which grant general access to innovations considered necessary to the overall development of an industry.

Apple has rebuked the Korean firm's claims, saying that Samsung has failed to license patents fairly, a requirement under a FRAND agreement.

The lawsuits have resulted in a wide range of investigations and rulings, including EU anti-trust probes. According to industry insiders, Samsung's peacemaking declaration could be a bid to court favourable public opinion and win over legal decision-makers.

The news is the latest development in the wide-ranging patent war between smartphone heavyweights Apple and Samsung, a confrontation has gripped the technology world over the past year.

Most recently, a US judge, who in July (opens in new tab)ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion (£650 million) in damages (opens in new tab) for infringing its patents, rejected the Cupertino-based firm's request to permanently impose a sales ban (opens in new tab)against some of its rival's devices.