and Xerox have ended their patent infringement lawsuits battle.

In a joint statement, the companies announced they have decided to "avoid the cost, time and distraction of lengthy legal battles", and to "concentrate on competing in the marketplace, rather the courts".

The companies had six outstanding patent-related lawsuits, filed beween May 1998 and June 1999.

Xerox accused HP of infringing patents with products that use ink-jet, colour-balancing and resolution-enhancement technologies. In turn, HP counter sued with a similar suit.

Neither company would reveal additional details of the "amicable settlement".