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Apple and HTC’s more than 20 patent infringement cases around the world seem to be a thing of the past, as the two companies came to an agreement. According to The Verge, all charges have been dropped in favour of a 10-year patent cross-licensing agreement. Jeff Gordon, an HTC representative, said that HTC “does not expect this license agreement to have any adverse material impact on the financials of the company”.
That’s basically hidden speak for “at least it won’t cost us a huge amount of money”.
The move is a surprise one, albeit one that will be welcomed by industry watchers. Both parties have a lot to gain from this agreement. HTC can be considered as “small fry” in the smartphone market against Apple and Samsung, struggling lately to make a footprint again after a recent tumble in profits. In the end this could benefit Taiwan’s biggest smartphone maker, as it would cost HTC much less to settle now than possibly lose more in the long run.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC. We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”
Mirroring Cook’s sentiments, HTC CEO Peter Chou said in a statement that “HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation.”
One the of the most prevalent ways in how this benefits both companies is that HTC now has the right to use some of Apple’s patents, like universal search, scroll locking and slid-to-unlock, something that Samsung is not allowed to use. For Apple, having a “friend” in Asia that can give its enemy Samsung a run for its money is always a good thing. For HTC it means better sales and more freedom. And less money lost on litigation, of course. The Taiwanese company does not have the resources like Apple to keep going on with patent infringement cases.