Apple drops bid to add Samsung Galaxy S III Mini to patent lawsuit

Apple removed its patent infringement allegations after Samsung said it doesn't sell the device in the U.S.

Apple has dropped its patent-infringement accusations against the Galaxy S III Mini, a mid-market Android smartphone that Samsung Electronics says it is not selling in the U.S.

In a filing in the U.S. District Court for Northern California on Friday, Apple said it would withdraw its request to include the Galaxy S III Mini in a patent infringement case against Samsung that is set for trial in 2014. On Nov. 23, Apple had asked to add the Mini and five other recently released Samsung products to its complaint, which originally was filed in February. The case is one of many in an ongoing set of disputes between the two companies in several countries.

When Apple asked to add the Mini to its case, the phone was expected to be released in the U.S. soon. Samsung subsequently filed an opposition to that request in which the South Korean company said it was not selling the Mini in the U.S.

In its filing on Friday, Apple said the Mini apparently was available for sale in the country, because its attorneys had bought multiple Minis from Amazon.com's U.S. online store and successfully had them shipped to addresses in the U.S. The company also said it appeared the device was still on sale at Amazon on Wednesday.

However, Apple wrote that because Samsung had represented it wasn't "making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States," it would drop the patent allegations against the Mini.

Apple's move may rely on Samsung staying true to its statement. Apple withdrew its allegations "without prejudice," reserving the right to make the accusations again "if the factual circumstances change."

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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Tags Appleconsumer electronicsintellectual propertysmartphonespatentSamsung ElectronicslegalAndroidmobile

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