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.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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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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