Samsung has announced that it will no longer seek injunctions over the iPhone or iPad using its standards essential patents (SEPs) in Europe. According to a statement released to The Verge, the company claims the move was made "in the interest of consumer choice." However, dropping its motions for injunctions in Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and the Netherlands may more likely have been prompted by an ongoing European Commission investigation into Samsung's abuse of SEPs against competitors.
Apple has gone after Samsung for what it calls "blatant copying" of its mobile devices, like the iPhone and iPad. The company sued Samsung in a number of venues globally over a variety of registered designs and utility patents. The success of these lawsuits has been mixed so far, but Apple did win a $1 billion jury verdict in the US.
Samsung retaliated by countersuing Apple, claiming the company infringed its patents related to 3G cellular networking in countries around the globe. Since Samsung claims its patents are essential to those standards, any device that implements 3G networking—including the iPhone—must therefore use the patented technology. And since Apple did not agree to a license, Samsung argued, it is by default infringing the patents, and Apple should either pay up or have its products taken off the market.