Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Apple and Google Bury the Hatchet

Apple and Google settled all smartphone patent litigation between last week, dismissing their cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Interestingly, the settlement does not include a typical cross license of respective patents. Steve Jobs once called Android a "stolen product." Apple was unable to slow Android's growth to the majority of new mobile phones sold. In 2010, Motorola preemptively accused Apple of infringing several patents, including one essential to how cellphones operate on a 3G network, while Apple said Motorola violated its patents to certain smartphone features in 2011. U.S. District Judge Richard Posner dismissed that case in 2012 shortly before trial, saying neither company had sufficient evidence to prove its case. Last month, the appeals court gave Apple another chance to win a sales ban against Motorola. Google acquired Motorola Mobility in 2012 and recently agreed to sell its handset business to Lenovo, while keeping the vast majority of the patents. Google may have been encouraged to settle with Apple after regulators in the U.S. and Europe criticized the company for the legal strategy it employed with Motorola's patents. Motorola had pursued injunctions against Apple products based on patents that regulators said it was required to license to Apple. Apple's incentive to keep fighting the Motorola suit may have been diminished by the pending sale to Lenovo. See stories here-- and and cases 2012-1528 & 2012-1549 at