Surprising news tonight as Apple and Google have announced that they are burying the hatchet and putting an end to all their smartphone patent litigation. While the settlement does not include a cross license to their respective patents, the two have agreed to “work together in some areas of patent reform.” It’s not clear what triggered this sudden change of heart after years of acrimonious fighting.
Motorola first accused Apple of patent infringement back in 2010. Apple responded by accusing Motorola of the same soon after. When Google acquired Motorola in 2012, it inherited the litigations as well. A consolidated case that gathered up all the cases was dismissed back in 2012 after the presiding judge decided that neither company had enough evidence to prove its case. An appeals court had overturned that ruling, setting the stage for a return to the courts.
Today’s announcement was likely warmly greeted over at Lenovo which is set to acquire Motorola later this year for US$2.91 billion. At the same time, the announcement only concerns Google and Apple and does not extend to other litigations between Apple and other Android smartphone manufacturers. Among these is the long and drawn-out legal battle between Apple and Samsung. The courts recently ruled in favour of Apple in that particular case and awarded it US$119 million, far short of the US$2 billion it was seeking.
The move will hopefully all both companies to focus more attention on their respective operating systems and technologies to the benefit of consumers everywhere.
Source : Reuters