Apple and HTC settle patent litigation, reach 10-year cross-licensing agreement

Apple and HTC have reached a global settlement to their long-running patent dispute. The settlement includes a 10-year cross-licensing agreement. A joint statement released by both companies quotes HTC's Peter Chou and Apple's Tim Cook:

“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.”

So, all in on the innovation. The settlement includes current and future patents. No terms were disclosed. Phil Nickinson of our Mobile Nations sibling site, Android Central spoke to HTC tonight and also learned:

The licensing deal covers all of HTC's products, company spokesman Jeff Gordon told Android Central this evening, which includes Android as well as its current Windows Phone stable. Gordon also said that "we do not expect this license agreement to have an adverse material impact on the financials of the company."

HTC makes both Android and Windows Phone devices. Apple already has a cross-licensing deal in place with Microsoft. When it comes to Android, however, Apple's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, vowed to go thermonuclear on what he considered Android's grand theft of iPhone intellectual property, and Tim Cook has asserted that Apple can't be the developer for the world. Apparently neither that legacy nor that position were impediments to a resolution in HTC's case.

Apple has previously reached a settlement with Nokia as well, but they remain in litigation with the very-well funded Samsung and the Google-owned Motorola.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Finally now if all the other OEM could get along lol :-)
  • Apple started it all when steve jobs was in control. All the lawsutes and patent complaints are all stupid in my oppinion. Stop spending money in court and spend it on making a good device.
  • this is the view i just dont get. now dont get me wrong, i think the way the patents are right now are in a big need of change. However, whats the point of making a patent if you are not going to enforce it? you are staying that anyone right now should freely take anything from another company and not be sued over it?
  • Check your recent history. Apple *made* money in court against Samsung.
  • Apple has not made money. That case will probably be thrown out on the basis of a biased juror.
  • First, Thorsten Heins, CEO of RIM states they are laser focused on bringing us BB10, no Tim Cook states they will continue to stay laser focused on innovating... So many lasers, so little innovation and still no BB10.... Stop coining catch phrases and get to work!
  • I think y'all would enjoy this story on the origin of the patent wars:
  • See how easy that was? Apple offered to settle with Samsung years ago. Samsung refused and Apple sued them successfully. $1.05 billion in cash down the drain. Untold billions more in lost Apple component contracts. Apple offered to settle with HTC and boom. 10 year agreement signed, sealed, delivered. If only Google / Motorola would be so reasonable.
  • Apple sued them successfully with a (possibly) biased jury. That particular story isn't done being told.
  • Apple offered a "license" of $30 per unit for the ability to have a scrolling list bounce back. Then, last week, Apple asked a court to set a baseline for all of Motorola's FRAND patents put together, telling the court that if it was greater than $1/unit, Apple would simply ignore it. Yeah, that sounds reasonable. (And the judges agree, dismissing two of Apple's relevant cases with prejudice - meaning Apple cannot raise them again, though they can of course attempt to appeal the decision. [ ])
  • You all pretend Apple didn't steal or infringe on any patents. They stole FaceTime, and got fined $300m+.
  • Apple didn't steal FaceTime because VirnetX doesn't make anything. How can Apple have "stolen" something from them? "The VirnetX patents cover the use of a domain-name service to set up virtual private networks, through which a website owner can interact with customers in a secure way or an employee can work at home and get access to a company’s electronic files." Please explain how this is FaceTime? Apple (like many others) just by using encrypted data over the Internet happened to hit into 4 patents this troll had in waiting - that's all. That's the shitty patent system at work that gives companies which don't make a single thing a valuation of $1.7 Billion. But that's how the system works and Apple will have to appeal or pay. You don't see them going around claiming the judge is biased or whatever.
  • Anybody see any flying pigs outside?
  • Apple settled with HTC because they could. Low sales, they were not a real threat. Good chance that the agreement will not give HTC any real advantage over the other Android OEMs since Apple would never license out the best parts of iOS. Samsung on the other hand remains a threat. Huge sales and profits, and they see no need to negotiate as they can just pay a 'speeding ticket' every few years. And they can keep any judgments tied up in US courts for years as they continue to sell phones. The patent ruling in California may have bruised these guys but unfortunately did not not cripple their photocopiers. Best option for Apple is produce cool new products that all the copycats have trouble with, but exciting new products are not easy. Everyone thinks that Apple needs to come up with the 'product of the century'... every year. Truth is, that truly paradigm shifting consumer products come up every generation.