New twists in Samsung and Apple's transatlantic patent war

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The Independent Online

The tit-for-tat mobile patent wars between Apple and Samsung have taken a surprise turn, with dramatic developments on both sides of the Atlantic.

Samsung has agreed to drop its efforts to ban the sale of some of Apple's products in Europe, saying it wanted to compete "fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court".

Despite this concession, Samsung said that it will continue to pursue Apple over alleged patent infringements in Europe.

At the same time, the South Korean giant has won a victory in America, after Apple lost its its legal fight to ban the sale of some of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

The maker of the iPhone and iPad had been trying to get a permanent injunction against Samsung, after a US jury ruled in August that it had copied some key features of Apple's devices. Apple won $1.05bn (£646m) in damages at the time.

But now Samsung has received a major boost from US District Judge Lucy Koh, who vetoed Apple's call for the Samsung devices, including the Galaxy Nexus, to be banned.

"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few, narrow protected functions," Ms Koh said.