PARIS -- South Korean tech giant Samsung (IW 1000/25) is to drop a legal request to ban Apple (IW 500/9) products in five European countries but will maintain lawsuits for alleged patent infringement, a Samsung spokeswoman told AFP on Tuesday.
The five countries concerned are Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, she added.
A Samsung statement said the South Korean group "strongly believes it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court."
"In this spirit, Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple on the basis of our standard essential patents pending in European courts, in the interest of protecting consumer choice," it added.
Apple and Samsung have filed lawsuits against each other in around a dozen countries for alleged patent violations related to competing products, in particular the iPhone and Galaxy S smartphones, as well as tablet computers.
A U.S. judge Monday denied Apple's request to ban a set of Samsung smartphones from the U.S. market after a jury found the South Korean electronics titan guilty of patent infringement.
Samsung -- the world's top mobile and smartphone maker -- was ordered by a U.S. jury in August to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features for its flagship Galaxy S phones.
Samsung has appealed the ruling.
Since then, two separate rulings by courts in Japan and the Netherlands have dismissed Apple's claims of patent infringement.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012