Apple, HTC Settle Patent Lawsuit With 10 Year Licensing Agreement

In a joint press release yesterday evening, Apple and HTC announced that a 10 year licensing agreement has been reached between the two warring parties. The agreement is good for around the world sales of both HTC and Apple devices and the deal includes a 10-year licensing agreement. The agreement, which is confidential was quickly described by HTC as not expected to “have any adverse material impact on the financials of the company.”

The agreement is a big announcement for both companies as HTC can now refocus on staying relevant in the Android world while Apple can cross off the only other legal dispute they face an injunction from via the International Trade Commission.

Apple has rejected plans to settle their lawsuits with Samsung via a similar licensing agreement, even as the court battles continue to mount. Apple’s first lawsuit against HTC was in March of 2010 in direct response to the Nexus One gaining multi-touch support. The original lawsuit included 20 separate patent infringement claims relating to the iPhone user interface, hardware and underlying architecture. The lawsuit came to a head earlier this year when One X and EVO 4G LTE devices were delayed at US customs as a result of the ITC ban. HTC created a workaround and eventually had the ban lifted, but not before Apple questioned the workaround design.

The settlement is expected to allow HTC to use slide-to-unlock, universal search and other features still in dispute that Apple has refused to allow Samsung to use. Both HTC CEO Peter Chou and Apple CEO released brief statements in a joint press release issued by Apple. You can catch those statements below.

Apple

 

Press Release:

TAIPEI, Taiwan and CUPERTINO, California—November 10, 2012—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.

“HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC.

“We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”

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  • D

    This is a bunch of bull! Apple really looks they hate Samsung!

    • MrBonez

      Yeah, and the sad thing is that Apple’s iPhone has Samsung components inside so if Samsung doesn’t supply the components for Apple then what happens to Apple? Hmmmm?

  • Adam

    i don’t understand the patent laws on innovation. its not like HTC products are a Chinese knock off of the iPhone, because there are other brands that do exist to intentionally design an iPhone look alike! HTC comparison: these devices have the same rectangle frame with round corners. Also, these devices use the multiple touch screen to its fullest capabilities with the same gesture. It should be argued that these are an universal shape and feature. The line however stops at different operating systems and coding to do the similar functions. Using the patent laws to eliminate innovation, competitive pricing and/ or destroy your competition is the only law that should matter with severe penalties. HTC is a healthy competitor, and Apple is playing unfair and that corporation is greedy as hell. i really don’t want to know what HTC had agreed to do to avoid the lawsuit.

    • Peter Chou @HTC

      Hello, you make very much sense. We would like to contact you to represent us versus injustice. Please leave your email so we may contact you. With you, we must defeat unfairness – you have great legal understanding and judgement. You honor is if you become our lawyer. Many thanks.

      • Deff

        Dang Nigerians trying to steal our credit cards again…

  • hellsh666

    Apllle like money and stupid american buyers.

    • AndroidProfit

      Did the greatest country on the planet make you cry?

      • eanfoso

        I don’t think Germany made this bloke cry

        • AndroidProfit

          HAHAHA good one!

    • od312

      Right. That’s because the iphone is only sold in America. Pffft. This isn’t 2007.

    • Noel

      It should be stupid iSheep buyers world wide…i think u are aware their devices are not only sold in America

    • http://twitter.com/jorgiting jorge guerrero

      hes right about the american buyers. most of them are retards.

      • od312

        And what are you?

        • http://twitter.com/jorgiting jorge guerrero

          i do not buy overpriced shitty products. unlike you.

        • od312

          You didn’t answer my question. So, owning android devices is your definition of “overpriced shitty”? Do you even know me? I’d call you ignorant, but at this point in time, you’re just plain stupid.

  • http://twitter.com/robabarca roberto abarca

    Hmm seems like they were like ” Hey you don’t like Samsung, I don’t like Samsung, you want to be Android king again, I want to be smartphone sales king again. Lets get out of each others way and start planning our comebacks”

  • archerian

    10 years? A few years from now, HTC won’t be around. Apple figured its cheaper to not pay the lawyers and let a weak rival slowly die off… The only reason HTC was given a footing in the world markets was because Microsoft picked them for making devices several years ago, they don’t have the marketing or research/development reach as Samsung/Apple, or even any kind of electronic lineage like Sony/LG

    • Mark

      Gee, and back in the spring (prior to the One S and GS3 releases) most people on here were saying that HTC was the bomb and Samsung sucked.

    • Nuno

      I think you are mistaking HTC for LG… HTC currently makes the best phones in the world. Their HTC One X was the first quad-core processor phone in the market, long before the S3. Also long before the Galaxy Note, there was the HTC Flyer, still with a more precise stylus than the new Galaxy Note

      • archerian

        Wow, this was an old post. Anyway, LG is far far more experienced in Innovations, Research, Manufacturing and other aspects than HTC. LG was previously known as Goldstar, and are among Panasonic, Sony and other early technology titans. HTC was and is still basically a system integrator, while LG has the actual assembly lines, R&D labs and other factors than enable them to be more independent. HTC has its high points, but their market share is slowly decreasing.

  • niididdy

    Bottom line Apple kills innovation for everyone including themselves. There’ll always be some kind of competition in the business world so instead of making yourself really stand out and put the exclamation mark on who is the best competitively in software, hardware, marketing etc, Apple-The-Big-Bully with all its backings, turn to torture and stifle growth in the industry with lawsuits against smaller companies. Good Samsung can hold its own! The industry will never be the same! Sad.

  • Whitney

    HTC sucks

    • Sean Walsh

      I dont know how they are still around. I have had 2 devices from HTC, & both failed because of crappy workmanship!

  • Josue

    and then Apple will stab HTC in the back…just wait

  • 0neTw0

    The real winners are the Lawyers. Probably the little devil on the shoulders of the Companies too. Sue Sue Sue.

  • Mark Williams

    Something of note…Apple is scared! They now know as the rest of us do, that the Apple product is a great device but it is now stagnate and boring. Apple no longer leads in innovation, which is now coming from the likes of Android and their many partners looking to distinguish themselves. I would bet for this reason it is a cross license giving each other access to future innovations.

  • Kurlee!!!

    Apple is scared that 1 day they will fall off the face of the earth and they trying to get every dollar they can right now. Apple comes out with 1 phone per year and says its the next big thing. Htc and Samsung brings out at least 3 per year and all really good phones that I want.

  • Samsung luver

    I understand why Apple is afraid of Samsung. Just picked up my note 2 and I love it.

  • od312

    All of this applish, childish behavior will soon come to an end. I’m not a superstitious person, but karma is real.

  • CHRIS

    Apple finally realized the green bot is too big to tangle with. About time. Apple’s management may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer but they finally figured it out. Good job!

  • OnlineRefugee

    Meanwhile, Apple has been getting its ssɐ kicked elsewhere around the globe.

    Anyone who puts Apple on a pedestal does not keep up with the headlines and legal news:

    ____________________

    November 2012: Texas: Apple has been ordered to pay $368 million in damages to VirnetX after a court ruled Apple infringed on two of the software firm’s patents. The ruling came after a five-day trial in a Texas court, focusing around Apple’s Face Time video calling product.

    VirnetX has filed further suit against Apple, in the International Trade Commission.
    ____________________

    November 2012 – Mexico City, Mexico: Apple has lost its trademark lawsuit against Mexican telecommunications systems and services company iFone, S.A. de C.V. An interesting twist of the dispute between iFone and iPhone is that iFone received the iFone trademark four years before iPhone was trademarked by Apple.

    iFone filed suit against Apple in 2009, two years after Apple launched the iPhone in Mexico. iFone’s lawsuit alleged that since 2002 iFone, S.A. de C.V. has been providing telecommunications services in Mexico under its iFone name. iFone also alleged in 2003 it filed the iFone trademark.

    Rather than settlement talks over the iFone litigation Apple responded with a lawsuit against iFone. Apple’s Mexican lawsuit claimed: 1) The iPhone name; 2) Any variations of it; and 3) ANY use of the name in ANY business… all belonged to Apple. (In other words, Apple claimed that any product or service an “i” in the name belonged to Apple.)

    In this decision denying Apple’s claims, the Court ruled iFone, S.A. de C.V. holds the trademark for Mexican telecommunications services.

    An important distinction, iFone’s victory does NOT stop Apple from selling the iPhone in Mexico, mainly because Apple is believed to hold a valid Mexican trademark on iPhone handsets. (The Court found that iFone’s trademark applies to services, not a device.)

    Despite the appearance of this Court’s ruling being limited, iFone’s original trademark suit against Apple remains. (iFone’s trademark suit against Apple is for any use of the iFone name, variations of it, by any company doing business in Mexico.)

    Legal pundits opine that the Court’s ruling is precedent favorable to iFone and increases the likelihood that iFone will prevail in its trademark claims against Apple. iFone’s lawyer Eduardo Gallástegui says that the Court will rule iFone is entitled to compensation from Apple, and “that could amount to as much as 40 percent of iPhone profits in Mexico.”
    ____________________

    October 2012: United Kingdom: A British court has ruled against Apple Inc. in its appeal of a decision that rival Samsung’s Galaxy tablet does not infringe on copyrights. The world’s two leading smartphone makers have been fighting over patents for both smartphones and tablets in courts around the world.

    This latest decision is valid throughout Europe and should prohibit further legal disputes between the companies over the design of tablets such as the iPad. The Court of Appeal in London upheld a British High Court judgment that Samsung did not infringe on Apple’s design for the iPad despite some similarities.
    ____________________

    July 2012, China: Apple settled a trademark dispute in China. Proview International filed multiple lawsuits in 2012 seeking to ban sales of Apple’s iPad tablet in China.

    Proview alleged Apple had not sought permission or purchased licenses to use the “iPad” name, a name Proview trademarked long before Apple introduced the iPad in 2010.

    In June 2012 Apple defended its actions by saying a licensing agreement had been reached in 2009. However, after mediation in July 2012 the Guangdong High People’s Court declared “The iPad dispute has ended. Apple Inc. has transferred $60 million to the account of the Guangdong High Court as requested in the mediation letter, that will in turn be transferred to Proview.”
    ____________________

    July 2012, Germany: A German appeals court has ruled that the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, do not infringe on Apple’s patents, and thus are not subject to a sales ban.

    Samsung issued a press release responding “Apple has been trying to limit consumer choice and discourage innovation through their excessive and flawed legal arguments. Despite Apple’s legal attacks against our user interface, we will continue to further develop and introduce products that enhance the lives of German consumers.”

    ____________________

    Then there’s some noteworthy 2011 litigation that Apple lost, but I don’t want to hog the page here. :)

    - There was iCloud nailing Apple for Apple stealing that business’s name for Apple’s new iCloud online storage services.

    - And of course there’s Nokia, who sued Apple in October 2009, claiming Apple failed to pay licensing fees to use Nokia’s various technologies. In December 2009 Apple counter-sued, claiming Nokia infringed 13 of Apple’s patents.

    (Sound familiar. Apple is not the neighborhood bully, it is the world’s bully. Maybe things will change for the better with Steve Jobs passing.)

    Anyway, when filing suit against Nokia in 2009 Apple’s general counsel Bruce Sewell cavalierly said: “Other companies (aka Nokia) must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours.”

    (Note: I always teach that lawyers should never say this kind of stuff to the media, such statements usually come back to haunt the client.)

    In response to Apple’s retaliatory lawsuit Nokia filed a complaint about a week later with the U.S. International Trade Commission, claiming that “virtually all” of Apple’s products violate Nokia patents.

    How did this war end? Apple agreed to pay Nokia what is estimated to be a settlement valued at $1 billion. (Cash and about a $7 royalty on every iPhone sold.)

    • CactusCat

      Nice post. Gee, you should be a writer for some of the Android sites. Appreciate the info very much.

    • AndroidProfit

      You actually CATALOG this stuff? Please see my post because I would love to refer you to a psychiatrist.

      • Overland Park

        as opposed to having your head in the sand, or probably in your case your arse.

    • tortionist

      Nice, I hate Apple and their anti-american let’s sue everyone practices. Thank you much for the informative post.

    • Overland Park

      Thanks. I knew about a few of these, but the overwhelming percentage of what you posted, I had not..

  • M42

    Apple seems to forget how much it has stolen from other innovators, like the sliding lock screen from Windows Mobile. Or global search from Palm or the notification screen from Android.

  • AndroidProfit

    Your local psychiatrist has many wonderful medication options to help some of you with your very unhealthy obsession you have with Apple and their INANINATE OBJECTS.

    Clint Eastwood yelled at an empty chair and many of you repeatedly yell on the internet about a phone.

  • Richard Yarrell

    You won’t have to worry about Samsung settling anything with Apple they won’t need too. Htc has been soft lately and fear apple anyway which is pitiful to say the least..

  • http://twitter.com/fightcrazy Vinny

    I would bet anything that the only reason this deal went thru is simply because HTC is going to be concentrating most of their future work on the Windows phone. Apple is just so jealous of the popularity and great innovation of the Samsung Android phone, it is a much better product, the software on the SGS3 is just over the top. HTC will not be any competition to Apple if they are making Windows phones. I would laugh like hell if Windows puts Apple in 3rd place.

  • Overland Park

    Apple basically lost these disputes, so they settle. Then they’ll sue someone else for something they ripped off (swipe anyone?)., Apple is embarrassing, and these idiots are as bad as the other trolls that make a living off of suing companies. I’m done buying their stuff