Apple said it agreed to withdraw the smartphone from its case because Samsung assured the court the phone will not be sold in the US, according to a filing in federal court in San Jose, California. The filing, which follows an August verdict in the same court in Apple's favour on other infringement claims, comes in a second patent case between the two companies, scheduled for trial in 2014.
Apple will withdraw the Galaxy S III Mini "given Samsung's representation that it is not making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing that product into the US," according to the filing. Apple claims that the smartphone is available for sale through Amazon.com, and said it will agree to drop its claims against the Galaxy S III Mini only if Samsung's assurances remain true.
In the earlier case, a jury decided August 24 at the end of a trial that Samsung should pay US$1.05 billion for infringing six Apple patents. Apple awaits a decision from US District Judge Lucy Koh on its request for additional damages against Samsung for infringement after the iPhone maker lost its bid to block US sales on 26 of the Galaxy maker's devices. Apple failed to establish that consumer demand for Samsung products was driven by technology it stole, Ms Koh ruled.
At a December 6 hearing, Apple asked Ms Koh to increase the damages awarded by the jury by $536 million, while Samsung said the verdict should be reduced by more than $600m. Ms Koh has not ruled on the matter.
Samsung and Apple, the world's two biggest smartphone makers, have each scored victories in their patent disputes fought over four continents since Apple accused the South Korean electronics maker of "slavishly copying" its devices. The companies are competing for dominance of a global mobile-device market estimated by Yankee Group at $346bn this year.
Samsung, facing an antitrust probe by European regulators, has said it will halt efforts to block sales of Apple products in Europe.
Newer smartphones made by both companies, including Samsung's Galaxy S III and Apple's iPhone 5, have been added to the case set for trial in 2014.
* Bloomberg News