Apple and HTC settle global patent battle

HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement.

The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

“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, in a joint statement.

“We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, in the statement. “We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”

Source: Apple Inc., HTC

Reuters reports, “Shares of HTC Corp jumped by their permitted daily limit on Monday after the Taiwanese smartphone maker and Apple Inc announced a global patent settlement and 10-year licensing agreement. The shares were up 6.86 percent at T$241.50 in broader market that opened up 0.15 percent.”

Brief article in full here.

MacDailyNews Take: Witness the future of Android phone peddlers. This is the beginning of the end for Android.

This is how the thermonuclear war ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper (after choking on a stack of royalty payments).

With Microsoft and Apple now both extracting royalties, Android just got a lot less attractive to HTC.

What happens next? As we explained over a year ago on October 27, 2011:

Windows Phone will be popular. Over time, it’ll eat the lunch of the increasingly fragmented, increasingly insecure, and increasingly costly Android (losing patent infringement lawsuits and dropping features/paying royalties to multiple IP owners will do that to you).

The not-iPhone world will begin to dump Android and move to Microsoft’s mobile OS offering because it will eventually cost less, work better, and come with far fewer legal issues. In the iPhone wannabe market, it’s already happening (Nokia, for example). We expect the same to happen in the iPad wannabe market, too. Google and Microsoft will long battle each other for the non-Apple markets and that’s a much better scenario for everyone than having a single ripoff artist flood the market with fragmented, insecure, beta-esque, mediocre-at-best products. Google’s attempt to be the next Microsoft is doomed.

This, of course, will also impact Google’s search business. Apple’s Siri will increasingly deliver info to users sans Google and Microsoft will, naturally, use Bing for their search. As we’ve said many times in the past: Google will rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.

The bottom line: We’d rather see a company trying unique ideas, even if – shockingly – it’s Microsoft, than the wholesale theft of Apple innovations that we’ve been seeing for over four years now. Don’t steal IP. Even worse, don’t steal IP and “claim to be innovators.” We have no problem with any companies that attempt to compete with Apple using their own unique ideas and strategies.

Take a look at which OS is being promoted on HTC’s website today:

HTC 8X Windows Phone

Related articles:
Microsoft: Google’s Android infringes on our patented IP; signs new patent deal with HTC – April 28, 2010
Microsoft general counsel: Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit against HTC ‘a positive development’ – March 15, 2010


  1. Well we wlill know know the terms of the deal by what HTC sells I’m the near future.

    Something Apple has asked for in the past is that others don’t produce phones that appear to look or function like the iPhone. This is Microsoft’s and Nokia’s deal with Apple.

    Now lets get Google and Motorola Inpyn those terms and we will have peace.

    Samsung is dead to me

  2. Apple has made it clear that this is NOT the future for Samsung, who were offered a licensing deal some time ago, before Apple won a billion dollar lawsuit. While that case is under review, Samsung’s counter claims against Apple primarily relate to exorbitant licensing demands for standards-essential patents – a matter which has caught the attention of EU and US authorities and, not surprisingly the standards-setting bodies and other tech firms. Samsung still faces a bagful of hurt with little upside chance of besting Apple in the patent courts. With Apple inflicting a death by a thousand cuts on Samsung’s component business, Samsung’s phone division is making hay while the sun shines. Whatever the outcome of the patent wars, Apple has drawn a line in the sand here, and future Apple patents are likely to be respected in the face of likely aggressive defence action by the iPhone maker. Samsung’s international reputation has taken a battering in the process and it remains to be seen whether Samsung can retain their sales leadership as Apple continues to broaden distribution (into China especially) and ramp up production.

    1. This deal is as much about what HTC got, as what Samsung did not. HTC has been struggling against Samsung’s strategy to damn to torpedoes and copy Apple’s juggernaut, to the detriment of more honorable competitors.

      Now HTC can compete against Samsung with features Samsung wouldn’t dare copy, in light of the licensing agreement. Note that the license includes future IP. Apple Maps today, who what tomorrow.

      I bring up Maps, because even with all the hoopla about its launch shortcomings, Maps is a superior product to Google Maps. It loads much faster, and uses far less online data. This would be a real differentiator for HTC vs Samsung, and would deny Google even more user data and ad revenue.

    1. Well, yes. But it will go back up, hopefully. I doubt a company like Apple will go down that easily. Unless of course, they decide to be like RIM and depend on the branding to sell their products.

  3. This is a very interesting development. We don’t need to know the detail of the deal, because we can just sit back and watch HTC’s future products. I suspect HTC will winding down its Android phones development significantly.

    … my 2 cents…

  4. MDN has it right. Android will cost Google (direct or indirect) royalties and will not be able survive as a free OS. Google never counted on comprehensive support and unification of its fragmented, insecure, unreliable and “open” to hacks software.

    This unbaked ripoff will not survive.

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