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Apple and HTC sign deal to end patent dispute

HTC

By Reuters

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 at 08:01

Apple and HTC have announced a global patent settlement and ten-year licensing agreement that ends one of the first major skirmishes of the smartphone patent wars.

Apple sued HTC in 2010, accusing the Taiwanese handset company of infringing on the iPhone maker's patented technology. It was Apple's first major legal salvo against a manufacturer that used Google's Android operating system and launched a wave of legal battles over patents and design issues.

Apple and HTC did not disclose specific terms of the deal. In a joint statement, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said he was glad to reach a settlement.

"We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation," Cook said. HTC chief executive Peter Chou said his company was pleased to resolve the dispute so it could "focus on innovation instead of litigation".

We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation

Since Apple first sued HTC, its smartphone patent war has engulfed competitors including Samsung and Google's Motorola.

The iPhone maker won a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung in August, while litigation against Motorola has failed to produce any decisive wins.

Sales blocks

However, Apple had the most success against HTC when it came to using litigation to actually disrupt the flow of products into the crucial US market.

Late last year, the US International Trade Commission ruled that HTC had infringed upon one of four patents Apple had disputed and imposed a sales ban on some of the Taiwanese maker's phones.

Though HTC said it had devised a technical workaround to Apple's patents, the company announced in May that shipments of its phones were being held up by US customs officials.

Once one of the industry's high flyers, HTC has been badly hit by competition from Apple and Samsung. Last month, HTC forecast a 14.5% fall in revenue in the fourth quarter from the third, worse than analyst forecasts and the second straight quarterly decline this year.

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User comments

Sets a dangerous precedent

for other Android manufacturers, but hopefully not fatal - HTC had little bargaining power, Samsung can and must fight the attempted Apple / M$ mobile duopoly.

By dubiou on 12 Nov 2012

oooo how

Exciting. Someone thinks that MS is in a duopoly with Apple in the Mobile market. Things looking up for WP8.

By nickallison on 12 Nov 2012

Hehe

I did say "attempted", maybe I should have gone with "dystopian".

By dubiou on 12 Nov 2012

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