Truce! Apple and Samsung call off patent war outside U.S.

HONG KONG (CNN) - Apple and Samsung have called a truce on most of their patent disputes, a development that should help end an acrimonious dust-up between the two tech giants that has festered for years.

The companies have agreed to abandon patent lawsuits outside the United States, ending legal battles in countries including Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

"Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States," the companies said in a joint statement. "This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in U.S. courts."

Apple and Samsung have been engaged in tit-for-tat series of lawsuits since 2011. Many of the disputes involved the design of smartphones, a lucrative sector that the two companies dominate.

Apple had accused Samsung of multiple patent infringements, including on the hardware design of the iPhone. Samsung alleged that "all generations" of the iPhone and iPad infringe on its own patents.

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