Apple, Google settle smartphone patent litigation

SAN FRANCISCO Fri May 16, 2014 7:43pm EDT

1 of 2. The Apple logo is pictured on the front of the company's flagship retail store near signs for the central subway project in San Francisco, California January 23, 2013.

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc and Google Inc's Motorola Mobility unit have agreed to settle all patent litigation between them over smartphone technology, 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 phones using Google's Android software have filed dozens of such lawsuits against each other around the world to protect their technology. Apple argued that Android phones that use Google software copy its iPhones.

The two companies informed a federal appeals court in Washington that the cases should be dismissed, according to filings on Friday. However, 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.

The most high-profile case between Apple and Motorola began in 2010. Motorola accused Apple of infringing several patents, including one essential to how cell phones operate on a 3G network, while Apple said Motorola violated its patents to certain smartphone features.

The cases were consolidated in a Chicago federal court. However, Judge Richard Posner dismissed it in 2012 shortly before trial, saying neither company had sufficient evidence to prove its case.

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

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

(Reporting by Dan Levine. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Comments (3)
HellcatM wrote:
apple will help in patent reform like the FCC is helping with Net Neutrality.

Its just some kind of ploy like Wheeler pretending and saying he did all he could do while sticking the consumer in the back.

apple probably made an agreement that they wouldn’t go after Google, and I’m willing to bet that Google can’t help in the law suites against other OEM’s.

May 16, 2014 8:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CallMeBC wrote:
As with the net neutrality issue, you can look at the American Congress for these problems: with Republicans sucking up everyone’s time and energy with their increasingly bizarre witch hunts and “government can’t help you” attitudes, nothing substation is getting done. Patent reform? Wait, and wait some more despite years and years of many smart people and organizations pointing out the obvious need for it. (The “America Invents Act of 2011″ was complete rubbish that only managed to put small inventors at a disadvantage.)

This agreement between Apple and Google probably reflected both their bottom line interests and “patent battle” fatigue much more than some sort of gentleman’s agreement.

May 17, 2014 9:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse
I can tell you one thing this is not the patent war between them now when both of them are entering the wearable tech industry they http://bit.ly/smartindustry

May 18, 2014 12:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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