Sun, May 18, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Apple and Google settle smartphone patent litigation

PEACE SETTLEMENT:All patent litigation between the two companies will end, and the two giants are also to cooperate on ‘patent reform,’ a joint statement said

Reuters, SAN FRANCISCO

Apple Inc and Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit have agreed to settle all patent litigation between them over smartphones, ending one of the highest-profile lawsuits in technology.

In a joint statement on Friday, the companies said the settlement does not include a cross license to their respective patents.

“Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform,” the statement said.

Apple and companies that make smartphones using Google’s Android software have filed dozens of such lawsuits against one another around the world to protect their technology. Apple cofounder Steve Jobs called Android a “stolen product.”

Google and Apple informed a US federal appeals court in Washington that their cases against each other should be dismissed, according to filings on Friday.

However, the deal does not apply to Apple’s litigation against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Apple has battled Google and what once were the largest adopters of its Android mobile software, partly to try to curb the rapid expansion of the free, rival operating system.

Yet it has been unable to slow Android’s ascendancy, which is now installed on an estimated 80 percent of new phones sold every year.

Motorola, the US company that pioneered the mobile phone, no longer ranks among the biggest smartphone makers.

Both Motorola and HTC Corp (宏達電) have been eclipsed by Chinese Android adopters such as Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) — which is buying Motorola — Huawei (華為) and Xiaomi (小米).

Last month, the appeals court gave the iPhone manufacturer another chance to win a sales ban against Motorola.

Apple’s biggest victory against Android came against Samsung, where US juries have awarded Apple more than US$1 billion in damages.

Those verdicts are on appeal, and despite years of court challenges to Android, Apple has not been able to win a crippling sales injunction.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility in 2012 for US$12.5 billion, and this year announced it was selling Motorola Mobility’s handset business to Lenovo, while keeping the vast majority of the patents.

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