Why is Apple Forgiving Samsung?

Could Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) finally be growing up or is this white flag meaningless? Apple has agreed to drop Samsung’s Galaxy S III Mini smartphone from a patent-infringement lawsuit, according to a filing made with the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, Reuters said.

What is the Story Behind the Withdrawal?

Last month, Apple added the Galaxy S III Mini and several tablet models from the Korean company to the case scheduled to go on trial in 2014. However, Samsung said in response that the Mini, which started selling in Europe in October as an iPhone 5 rival, won’t be made available for sale in the U.S. Samsung said it was not “making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States.”

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Apple said its lawyers had been able to purchase multiple units of the Mini from Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) U.S. website and added that the withdrawal came on the condition that it “will not prejudice Apple’s ability later to accuse the Galaxy S III Mini if the factual circumstances change.”

What’s the Case History?

This current case is only the latest between Samsung and Apple, the world’s two biggest smartphone makers and fierce rivals. In a high-profile case in the same court in August, Apple was awarded $1.05 billion in damages after a jury found that Samsung has infringed on six patents. Judge Lucy Koh is yet to make a decision on Apple’s request for additional damages, but lost its appeal to block U.S. sales of 26 Samsung mobile devices.

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