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Samsung drops attempt to ban Apple sales in Europe

Apple's iPhone (L) and Samsung Galaxy Note are displayed at a shop in Tokyo in this August 31, 2012, file photo. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File
Apple's iPhone (L) and Samsung Galaxy Note are displayed at a shop in Tokyo in this August 31, 2012, file photo. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Korea's Samsung Electronics on Tuesday said it would drop law suits aimed at banning the sale of Apple Inc. products in Europe just a day after scoring a victory in a battle in the United States with the maker of iPhones.

Samsung and Apple, the world's top two smartphone makers, have been locked in patent disputes in at least 10 countries over the last 18 months since Apple sued Samsung, saying the Korean firm copied its best-selling iPhone and iPad.

On Tuesday, Samsung said it was dropping an attempt to stop the sale of some Apple products in Germany, Britain, France, Italy and the Netherlands, though it did not say it would halt its court battle for compensation.

"Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court," the company said in a statement.

A spokesman for Apple declined to comment on Samsung's decision.

The decision comes a day after a judge rejected Apple Inc's request for a ban on the sale of Samsung Electronics' smartphones in the United States.

In August, Apple was awarded $1.05 billion in damages after a U.S. jury found Samsung had copied critical features of the iPhone and iPad. The Samsung products run on the Android operating system, developed by Google.

In January, the European Commission opened an investigation into whether Samsung Electronics has distorted competition in the European mobile device market, breaking EU antitrust rules.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson, additional reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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