Ending one of the highest profile lawsuits in technology, Apple and Google have finally agreed to settle all patent litigation between them over smartphone technology.
In a joint statement, the companies said the settlement does not include a cross licence to their respective patents, but Apple and Google have agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform.
The two companies informed a federal appeals court in Washington that the cases should be dismissed, according to filings, but the deal does not appear to apply to Apple’s litigation against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, as no dismissal notices were filed in those cases.
However, patent expert Florian Mueller says the deal could mean an end to that dispute is also in sight.
He writes: “At first sight one would assume that this Apple-Google agreement makes a near-term Apple-Samsung settlement much more likely, but this depends on whether Apple’s decision-makers have fully realised just how non-thermonuclear their patent portfolio is”
He also believes the settlement was due to both sides realising they were unlikely to win outright:
“They had to recognise that under the procedural circumstances their patents were not strong enough to give either party decisive leverage over the other, at least not anytime soon.”
The original court case began in 2010, when Motorola, owned by Google, accused Apple of infringing several patents, including one essential to how mobile phones operate on a 3G network, while Apple said Motorola violated its patents to certain smartphone features.
Thankfully now, the war is over. We do love a happy ending!