Apple published a joint statement with HTC late last night announcing the settlement of their Android patent dispute more than 32 months after it started. Apple and HTC announced a broad ten-year licensing agreement that settles all of the lawsuits between the companies around the world.
Late Saturday the two companies stated that the agreement covers current and future patents for both firms. More specific terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
"HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation," Peter Chou, HTC's chief executive, said in a statement.
Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, also expressed relief in a statement. "We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation," he said.
The broad patent deal comes after HTC suffered several legal setbacks, such as a decision in the U.S. International Trade Commission that said Apple's iPhone and iPad mobile devices had not infringed HTC's patents.
A Taipei-based analyst at the research firm Gartner was quoted by the Taiwan Focus this morning as stating that "The settlement would give HTC a greater advantage in its market positioning in the U.S." The analyst added that "HTC still values the U.S. market. The case implies that although HTC has been performing well in China, it could not make up what it had lost in the U.S. market."
The report added that "HTC's branding is likely to improve with the settlement because consumers may no longer consider HTC as a 'copy brand' as a result of its loss of consecutive patent lawsuits against Apple over the past two years."
The settlement with HTC ends Apple's bad run of legal news that has been in the press over the last few months. Some of the cases are shown below:
October 18: Apple loses appeal in UK case against Samsung
October 21: Apple loses copyright case in UK
November 02: Apple loses iPhone Branding case in Mexico
November 07: Apple Loses FaceTime Patent Lawsuit to VirnetX
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