Apple and HTC End Their Global Patent Battle

10 year license agreement, signed by Apple and HTC in Taiwan, will dismiss all patent litigation between the companies.

In a surprising turn of events, Apple Inc. and HTC Corp. announced late Saturday night that they have resolved all of their patent disputes and are now entering into a 10-year patent licensing agreement. Photo: Beau Giles/Flickr

The two technology giants – Apple Inc and HTC Corp – have signed a global settlement and a 10-year-license agreement, which will bring about peace between the parties.

We should mention that the roots of the conflict go back to the year 2010 when Apple blamed Taiwanese company for encroaching on the Apple’s patented technology.

By the same token, last year a sales ban on some HTC’s phones was imposed as the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) adjudicated HTC as an infringer on Apple’s patents.

Despite the fact, that Taiwanese handset company had found a technical workaround to iPnone maker’s patents, U.S. customs officials detained shipments of its phones so that the flow of HTC products into the U.S. tech market was disrupted.

Controversy between two tech high flyers is about Apple accusing HTC of invading upon the patents concerning ‘rubberbanding’ – special type of scrolling and data detection. HTC, in its turn, claimed that latest iPhone and iPad products infringe its intellectual property around LTE high-speed wireless connections and 4G.

“Since Apple first sued HTC, its smartphone patent war has engulfed competitors like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit,” Reuters reports.

It should be observed that this summer Apple-Samsung battle ended with Apple’s win and a $1 billion payment of damages for its benefit.

Interestingly, in May 2012 there were no signs of progress in Apple-HTC case, moreover some sources informed that in August Cher Wang, HTC chairman, said HTC is not going to settle its ongoing litigation with Apple.

Since then the situation has cardinally changed, as we see it know. Reportedly HTC said its licensing payments to Apple Inc would have “no material impact on the finances of the company”.

Though intellectual-property litigation between Apple and HTC is not such a high-profile as that of Samsung, but the settlement and licensing agreement provoked heated debates about the future of tech industry.

Meanwhile both companies did not reveal specific terms of the deal.  Apple and HTC issued a joint statement on the Sunday morning, but no details are disclosed there.

Supposedly, the terms of the deal include current and future patents held by both companies, f.e. it gives HTC a rightful permission to use universal search, slide to unlock, and other disputed features that will remain unavailable to other tech rivals, Samsung in the first place.

Ending patent disputes with HTC doesn’t actually mean that Apple plans to stop its patent war with other competitors.

It can be a sign that Apple and HTC will give their products a potential advantage as they have access to the technologies that other tech manufacturers do not have – user-interface design, wireless transmission, etc.

According to Apple’s Press Release, Apple CEO  Tim Cook said he was glad to end the dispute: “We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC. We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation”.

Meanwhile HTC CEO Peter Chou commented on the situation as follow: “HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation”

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