TECH

Apple. Samsung Electronics Agree To Drop Patent Lawsuits Outside U.S.

** FILE ** In this Oct. 19, 2007 file photo, a customer holds an Apple iPhone at the Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif., Friday
** FILE ** In this Oct. 19, 2007 file photo, a customer holds an Apple iPhone at the Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif., Friday, Oct. 19, 2007. Following the success of Apple Inc.'s iPhone, mobile phone manufacturers are racing to produce touch screen models of their own. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS> and Apple Inc agreed to scale down their international legal war and withdraw patent lawsuits outside the United States, a Samsung spokesman said on Wednesday.

"This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in U.S. courts," South Korean tech giant Samsung said in a statement.

Global smartphone leaders Apple and Samsung had been at each other's throats in courts around the world for three years, accusing each other of infringing patents in their popular handsets and other mobile devices.

A Samsung spokesman said the rival firms had agreed to end patent disputes in nine countries, without elaborating on why they would continue to fight it out in the United States.

In May, a U.S. jury left the total damages Samsung must pay U.S.-based Apple unchanged at $119.6 million, after additional deliberations in a trial where the South Korean smartphone maker was found to have infringed three Apple patents.

Samsung Electronics shares fell 1.1 percent as of 0240 GMT (10.40 p.m. EDT Tuesday) versus the wider market's
<.ks11> 0.4 percent drop.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Stephen Coates)