Well, we can officially strike one device from the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung. Reuters notes that Apple has officially agreed to drop its patent claims against the Galaxy S III mini, a device that it sought to add to its California lawsuit against Samsung just a little over a month ago. Apple originally wanted to add the S III mini to the case after it says it was able to obtain several units from Amazon, but Samsung responded by saying that it isn't officially "making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States." After Samsung's explanation, Apple agreed to withdraw the S III mini from its claims, so long as doing so wouldn't harm its ability to re-add it later if the situation changes.
Samsung officially introduced the Galaxy S III mini in mid-October, and at the time the company didn't offer up any details on whether or not the thing would ever see an official U.S. release. Fast-forward to late November and the S III mini was made available for purchase from several Amazon sellers, but Samsung still wasn't officially offering the phone to U.S. customers. Considering all of that, it's not a surprise to see Apple agree to nix its claims against the S III mini in its U.S. lawsuit. I'm sure Samsung is happy about this news, though, since it means that it has one less handset to deal with in its case with Apple.