Apple and HTC settle global patent battle

Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:01pm EST
 
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By Dan Levine

(Reuters) - Apple Inc and HTC Corp announced on Saturday a global patent settlement and 10-year licensing agreement that ends one of the first major conflagrations 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.

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."

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

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

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

Late last year, the U.S. 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.   Continued...

 
The Apple logo hangs in a glass enclosure above the 5th Ave Apple Store in New York, September 20, 2012. Apple's iPhone 5 goes on sale tomorrow. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson