By Alexandra Burlacu | Nov 11, 2012 02:26 PM EST
Apple and HTC have announced a wide-reaching patent licensing agreement on Saturday, Nov. 10, putting an end to all the ongoing litigation between them.
The two companies which have been fighting a set of patent battles over the last couple of years, but have now agreed to a 10-year joint licensing agreement for all current and future patents from both Apple and HTC, according to a brief statement.
"We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC," Apple chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement, according to AFP. "We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation."
"HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation" added HTC CEO Peter Chou.
The legal spat between the two companies started out in March 2010, when Apple filed a complaint against HTC with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), accusing the Taiwan-based company of violating 10 of its patents. The ITC has the authority to enforce bans on products shipping to the United States. Back in June 2011, an administrative judge with the ITC found only two violations.
Roughly two months after Apple filed its complaint with the ITC, HTC fired back at the Cupertino giant accusing it of infringing five patents related to its mobile technology. HTC asked the Commission to ban the import and sale of Apple's popular iPad, iPhone and iPod. Later on, in August 2011, HTC also filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Delaware, accusing Apple of violating two Wi-Fi-related patents by selling its line of Macs, iPads, iPods, iPhones and other devices, for which it sought an import ban.
Last December, however, the ITC ruled that HTC had infringed on Apple's patent for "data tapping," which refers to techniques that automatically format documents to allow a dialer program, for instance, to appear when a phone number is displayed. The ITC said at the time that if HTC did not remove the infringing feature by April 19, 2012, it would impose a ban on some of its products. HTC announced plans to remove that feature from all of its phones immediately after the ITC's ruling.
The iPhone maker also won a ruling in another case against HTC when a judge dismissed five patents borrowed from Google that HTC attempted to assert in the case. Google had loaned the patents in question to HTC last summer, in an apparent attempt to boost Android device makers without getting Google directly involved.
A series of other attempts Apple has made to keep HTC products off the U.S. market have had mixed results. After the ITC's December ruling that HTC had infringed on Apple's patent for "data tapping" technology, imports of HTC's One X and EVO 4G LTE smartphones faced a ban by the U.S. Customs back in May. The watchdog was charged with inspecting the HTC devices to ensure they were no longer infringing Apple's patent. The devices were allowed to enter the United States after roughly two weeks at Customs.
The financial terms of the agreement are confidential, but HTC likely paid a hefty amount of money to settle its litigation with the Cupertino giant.
© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.