Thursday, November 15, 2012

Apple and HTC bury handset hatchet, will others?

Apple and HTC this week announced a broad ten-year licensing agreement that settles all lawsuits between the smartphone makers. Last spring, a Delaware court ordered Apple and HTC to meet before Labor Day in the hopes that they could shake hands and put an end to an escalating legal battle through mediation. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, while reportedly not a fan of lawsuits, did take the Samsung patent case to trial this year. HTC of Taiwan was eager to eliminate handset shipping delays stemming from Apple's court wins. The global settlement to their patent battle includes current and future patents held by both companies. HTC agreed to pay Apple $6 to $8 in licensing fees for each Android phone it sells, estimated at as much as $280 million to be paid to Apple annually from HTC's expected shipments. Apple first sued HTC for infringing on patents related to the iPhone in 2010, as part of the war against Google Android phones and its manufacturing partners declared by Apple’s founder Steve Jobs. Apple and HTC have since fought in courts around the world, with Apple winning multiple decisions. Industry experts comment that the terms of this agreement could be used as a blueprint for future settlements with other Android manufacturers, including Samsung and Motorola. See more at and