These days, it’s not often a patent dispute is settled without a judgement against one of the parties or the case being thrown out, so it’s refreshing to see that tech companies can come to an amicable agreement, as evidenced last week by HTC and Apple sorting out their differences.
In a statement published on its website, Apple says it has now “reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement.” Both Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple provide short and to-the-point quotes on the situation:
“HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation,” says Peter Chou, while Tim Cook echoes his words by saying “We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC. We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”
Apple’s aggressive legal team hasn’t had it easy since its $1 billion win against Samsung earlier in the year, with its case against Motorola being dismissed with prejudice last week, and a loss against Samsung in the UK — a case that has continued to haunt them despite it being all over. An agreement with HTC means the team can put a tick in the win column.
For HTC, it must be a relief that it’s not going to have to face the possibility of a $1 billion judgement against it, as unlike Samsung, it doesn’t have money to throw around. CEO Peter Chou’s statement rings true, as the once-dominant company needs to get back to making desirable smartphones, instead of fiddling about with lawsuits, if its to increase its diminishing market share.
So, it’s congratulations to Apple and HTC, as the fewer patent disputes there are in the world, the better.
12/11/12: According to an analyst at Sterne Agee, Apple will make between $6 and $8 from each HTC Android phone sold, potentially generating $180 million to $280 million per year for the company, based on HTC selling around 35 million phones annually. Neither Apple nor HTC has discussed the terms of the settlement, so this has not been confirmed.