Apple and Samsung may have to settle in patent litigation

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Apple and Samsung are reportedly close to reaching an amicable conclusion in a long-winded patent litigation battle after the US firm lost another court case against its rival.

The familiar US District Judge Lucy Koh ruled against Apple's bid to impose a sales ban on some older Samsung smartphones in the US and it follows the decision to drop all suits against each other in a range of different countries in the past few months.

Apple's latest attempt targeted specific features in nine Samsung devices and offered what is dubbed a "sunset period" to gives its competitor the opportunity to circumnavigate the features before a ban was enforced, according to Bloomberg.

In this case, Apple targeted the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S3 and Stratosphere.

Samsung's argument in the current case is that Apple suffered no "irreparable harm" from such infringements and it repeated its assertion that Apple failed to draw a close connection between infringement of patented features and a loss of sales.

"Apple has provided no persuasive justification for depriving the public of product choices created by a thriving level of competition other than its claim that an injunction serves the public's interest in protecting innovation and patent rights", said Samsung's court filing.

Koh has overseen an increasingly fraught patent battle between the two companies that got underway in San Jose in 2012 and has stretched across four continents over time.

Both sides have taken out litigation against each other with neither winning a significant enough case to make it worthwhile and Koh, as well as several other judges, has pleaded with the two companies to settle instead of dragging it through the courts.

Whether or not this is the end of the squabbling remains to be seen and no-one would be at all surprised if it all kicks off between the two once more.

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