Apple, HTC Settle Patent Dispute 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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