Apple agrees to drop patent claims against Samsung's Galaxy S III Mini

Apple, maker of the iconic iPad tablet, has agreed to drop patent claims against Samsung's new phone, Galaxy S III Mini, after the South Korean mobile phone maker agreed not to sell the gadget in the United States.

This means that the new Samsung phone with a high-end display will not be offered for sale in the crucial US market.

Apple had, last month, asked that a series of Samsung products, including the Galaxy S III, be added to the ongoing patent battle between the two mobile phone makers.

Reports quoting court documents said Apple agreed to withdraw the claims without prejudice.

''Apple will agree to withdraw without prejudice its request to include the Galaxy S III Mini in this case given Samsung's representation that it is not making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing that product into the United States,'' the company said in its latest federal court filing.

Apple said in its filing with US district court for the northern district of California, on Friday, that its lawyers were able to purchase "multiple units" of the Mini from Amazon.com's US retail site and have them delivered in the US.

Samsung, which started selling the Mini in Europe in October to compete with Apple's iPhone 5, however said it was not "making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States."

Apple agreed to withdraw its patent claims on the based on that assurance.  Apple agreed to withdraw its patent claims on the Mini, "so long as the current withdrawal will not prejudice Apple's ability later to accuse the Galaxy S III Mini if the factual circumstances change."