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Samsung drops a patent from ITC complaint as Apple battle looms

The company reportedly decided to withdraw a patent related to a "method for storing and reproducing digital audio data in a mobile terminal."

Samsung has decided to withdraw a patent claim from its legal tussle with Apple before the U.S. International Trade Commission, according to a report.

The company on Friday filed a motion with the U.S. ITC requesting the removal of U.S. Patent No. 6,897,843, describing a "device and method for storing and reproducing digital audio data in a mobile terminal," from its case with Apple, FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller is reporting. According to Mueller, the withdrawal now leaves four patents at play in the hearing with Apple.

Apple and Samsung have been waging a bitter patent dispute across the world. The ITC hearing will kick off today, and allow Samsung to argue its case that Apple is infringing patents it holds related to mobile technology. The ITC judge is expected to make a determination on the matter by September.

For Apple and Samsung, the real challenge lies in making any ruling stick. Both Apple and Samsung have won several individual battles, but neither is any closer to winning the war. What's worse, judges are starting to tire of the constant lawsuits and the companies' desire to pile more and more patents onto initial claims.

Last week, ITC judge Thomas Pender told Apple and Samsung that winning him over will be no easy task. In fact, he told both sides that he plans to use the logic of Cheech and Chong by asking if a product looks like, feels like, and smells like another it has allegedly copied.

Aside from today's ITC fight, both Apple and Samsung later this week are scheduled to attend two preliminary injunction hearings in California.