Samsung has announced that it will drop all of its standard essential patent infringement cases against Apple in Europe, according to the manufacturer. Blooomberg reports that Samsung says it’s doing so “in the interest of protecting consumer choice” in a statement, saying it believes “it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace.”
The injunction requests had also sparked an antitrust investigation from the European Union into whether or not Samsung was in violation of standard-essential patent licensing agreements, which require that holders of said patents provide them to competitors under fair and reasonable terms.
This is a development that goes in Apple’s favor in the ongoing legal battle between the two companies, in contrast to Samsung’s win earlier as a U.S. court denied injunctions against a number of the Korean company’s products, while also throwing out Samsung’s request for a new trial.
Samsung has not fared all that well with its efforts around standard-essential patents thus far in pursuing legal action against Apple, and in fact, with the heat the cases have incurred from regulatory bodies, the situation was likely causing more harm than good. The EU launched its formal investigation into how Samsung is using its standard-essential patents and dealing with competitors back in January 2012, based on the injunction requests Samsung put forward in 2011 in countries including Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the U.K. While dropping these injunction requests doesn’t necessarily make that investigation go away, it certainly stands a good chance of making Samsung appear compliant with the EU’s licensing requirements.