There are companies fighting patent suits 24×7, and Apple is one such company. It has had patent issues with Nokia, Microsoft and since more recently Samsung. And these are just the major corporations that come to mind, there are plenty of small and rather unknown companies that Apple has dragged to court and vice versa. And now, one such patent battle has come to an unexpected end, involving HTC.
Apple and HTC have come to a mutual understanding and decided to settle all patent disputes with a 10 year agreement being signed. An agreement for what you might ask. Well, it seems like a straight forward licensing agreement over the course of 10 years between the two companies. The details for the settlement have been kept confidential by both companies, but it is apparent that both the companies are relieved on having reached this conclusion. It is being pegged as a “global settlement” by both parties, meaning the settlement is on a global scale and not limited to any specific country. This basically puts rest to all the patent disputes between HTC and Apple.
This is what CEOs of both the companies had to say:
HTC’s Peter Chou – “HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation”
Tim Cook from Apple – “We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” He further added- “We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation”
This case is rare in more ways than one. For one, Apple almost never settles with anything and is known to be ruthless especially when it comes to patent suits. So this comes as a surprise to us all. We believe there is substantial amount of money involved too, which is something we’ll never know as either companies want to maintain silence on the matter. Regardless, HTC lawyers can finally breathe a sigh of relief with having no more courtroom drama to face against Apple. One would wonder if a settlement deal like this could have been struck with Samsung too. But since that involved design related patents among other things, Apple wouldn’t have been too keen on settling. However, if all the other patent litigations are settled out of court like this, we feel there would be less bad press and lesser popcorn for us to munch over. Let’s hope Apple is taking a new turn, for good.