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Apple and HTC Settle Patent Dispute 179

An anonymous reader writes "HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential. From the article: '"HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation," Peter Chou, HTC's chief executive, said in a statement. Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, also expressed relief in a statement. "We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation," he said.'"
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Apple and HTC Settle Patent Dispute

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  • by elashish14 ( 1302231 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (4clacforp)> on Sunday November 11, 2012 @01:17PM (#41950277)

    HTC uesd to be a legitimate contender, so Apple did all they could to block them from the market. With all the resources HTC has diverted to the patent wars, they can't really compete anymore and Apple probably doesn't see them as a legitimate contender. Apple probably just figures they might as well suck whatever money's left taking from them. Borrowing from the Ars article on the same topic, HTC (read: the little guys) is just the upfront victim of the patent wars.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @01:18PM (#41950285)

    the SCO Linux licensing agreements by this?

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lennier1 ( 264730 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @01:22PM (#41950315)

    HTC thought it would be a good idea to settle with a patent troll?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @01:26PM (#41950339)

    Don't worry, patent law doesn't need reform. IBM said so.

  • What's the angle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Qwavel ( 733416 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @01:34PM (#41950395)

    Very curious about what happened here?

    Maybe Apple gave them decent terms as long as HTC swallowed a bit of a poison pill: the patent license deal dies if HTC is purchased by, or merges with another company (Apple did something similar with RIM). The last thing Apple wants is consolidation that would make the Android ecosystem healthier.

    Or maybe MS played a role? It was reported that HTC managed to get Microsoft on side, largely by agreeing to continue to make Windows Phones'. Maybe having Microsoft on their side helped in negotiations with Apple.

    Maybe it's divide to conquer? If the weaker manufacturers in the Android ecosystem have a license to use all the basic touch screen methods, and the stronger ones don't then it could lead to greater inconsistency between Android phones and could weaken the strong players (i.e. Samsung).

    Ultimately, Apple's biggest threats are Samsung and Google/Nexus. I mention Nexus in particular because there is nothing that Apple & MS could hate more then the low margins of the Nexus devices. Whether or not the Nexus 4 itself is a success, the nexus line has become a threat to the traditionally high margins on mobile devices and it must have re-inforced Apple's determination to kill Android.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @01:41PM (#41950443)

    A patent troll is a person or company that holds patents but doesn't create products. That being the case your comment makes no sense.

  • by metalmaster ( 1005171 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @01:51PM (#41950509)
    HTC's One series phones are a lot better
  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @01:56PM (#41950545)

    It has also come to mean a company that sues competitors with bogus patents, gaming the system etc. Rounded corners anyone?

  • Re:Coincidence? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:02PM (#41950595)

    Could it be that HTC have started performing badly as a company, so Apple don't consider them worth the lawyer fees any more?

    That's certainly what tech crunch implies about HTC []. Now that HTC has switched to Windows they can be considered as dead:

    This settlement with HTC is essentially a sign that Apple considers it a competitor neutralized, and that’s far from the case with Samsung.

    I think that, in the spring once Microsoft's marketing money has disappeared, HTC may start coming out with competitive Android models again and has a decent chance of a revival.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) * on Sunday November 11, 2012 @05:02PM (#41951741)

    Apple didn't make a mistake.

    They just got access to all the patents of some of the slickest phone designers with the best screens, more memory, and better performance, experienced in two different Operating Systems. You said so yourself, and then turned around an awarded the score to HTC. What kind of reasoning is that?

    Apple is the clear winner here. HTC gains only legal relief. Nothing Apple has patented is of value, except as a club to beat others with.

    The HTC ONE line of phones puts Apple to shame. Whether its the Windows Phone version or the Android version, HTC designs are top notch, even better than Samsung. HTCs problem is they have spent so much time and money fighting Apple they have nothing left to bribe the purchasing agents for the big carriers into accepting their phones (unlike Samsung).

    Apple could use HTC's expertise. I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple purchase them outright or at least gain a majority stock position. If they did that, they would have a beachhead into both Windows Phone and Android, because its easy to see that IOS is beginning its death spiral, and Apple has to do something.

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @06:36PM (#41952291)

    ...because its easy to see that IOS is beginning its death spiral...

    iOS is beginning its death spiral? Are you joking? It's market percentage might be decreasing (and it seems to actually be holding pretty steady right now, going up in one quarter, down in another, and back up again) but it's unit sales continue to rise - their declining percentage is simply an indication of how fast the entire market is growing. Other manufacturers/OSes are seeing their unit sales decline but Apple most certainly isn't one of them. Their sales figures have been on a constant upward trajectory (with the only slowdowns easily attributable to consumers waiting for the new iPhone and thus delaying purchase).

    If that's a death spiral, I think a lot of companies want to be in a death spiral...

  • by zieroh ( 307208 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @10:11PM (#41953429)

    That's not a citation. That's speculation. Just some asshat (much like yourself) who thinks they know what's involved in a global rollout of a mass-market product.

    You don't. Neither does he. Try again.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"