HTC And Apple Settle Patent Dispute; Perhaps Tim Cook Realizes Patent Fights Are A Waste

from the one-would-help dept

While the Apple patent disputes with Samsung and Motorola seem to get most of the publicity, Apple's first patent lawsuit against an Android phonemaker was against HTC, who quickly sued back. However, over the weekend, the two companies announced a settlement in which they're cross-licensing all of their patents to each other for a period of ten years. While the full details are secret, all of the indications are that HTC is paying Apple, but not a huge amount. HTC has said that it won't have "an adverse material impact" on its financials. While HTC remains a smaller player than Samsung, one hopes that this is actually a sign that Tim Cook has realized that Steve Jobs' infatuation with killing Android in court is not a productive strategy. This, of course, won't end many of the other patent fights around smartphones, but hopefully it shows that Apple has become less ridiculously "religious" about fighting in court, rather than focusing on the marketplace.


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  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 3:32am

    To me it's more likely that, after seeing the sales results from HTC, Apple simply doesn't want to bother with HTC so it can focus it's time, money, effort and lawyers on the bigger fish, Samsung,

     

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      PRMan, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

      Re:

      Samsung just hit Apple with a 20% price increase on an irreplaceable part, so, not really working out with Samsung, either.

       

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    Simon, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 4:09am

    Apple's recent patent litigation is simply a circling of the wagons around their existing products and is likely a sign that they don't have "the next big thing" ready yet. The question is, will they be able to deliver another iPod / iPhone / iPad sized success?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 4:10am

    hey Masnick- a lot of super-low commented upon articles recently.

    Time to throw some "it's good to steal music and movies" protein to your wolves already...

    oh, and you're welcome for this "troll".

    lol

     

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    Shadow Dragon (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 4:36am

    Good

    I thought the whole patient suit was ridiculous from the get go,it was Apple's part of trying eliminate competition by patient courts. HTC I started to get popular with HTC S620 Excalibur which I had one as my phone,I also have HTC phone right now because I enjoyed my old phone and enjoying HTC HD7.

     

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    Michael, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 4:44am

    Thank goodness

    Thank goodness. Now we can have HTC phones with rounded corners.

     

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    DerpMcFinnigan, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 5:18am

    Different approach to this story

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/11/with-htc-patent-deal-apple-is-going-for-androids-jugular/

    This article spins a different, questionable, view. Just something to think about. Most of the comments disagree.

     

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      yaga (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 7:44am

      Re: Different approach to this story

      I would have to disagree as well. There's a lot of that article that is nothing more than a pure guess. Plus it points out that Samsung is in a better position than HTC was but then goes on to mention the court lose and the ITC loss. Since lawyer wrote the article I would have expected him to mention that there's still lots of life left in the Samsung/Apple court battle because of appeals and the losses that Apple has suffered everywhere else in the world.

       

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    Wally, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 5:50am

    Apple under Tim Cook has actually been more litigious and even more understanding since Forestall got fired.

    The one thing people (especially Droid fans) don't realize is that while HTC makes descent sub-$100 smart phones, the problem problem is that Google makes them pay a $20 licensing fee just for the use of their Android Software...per device sold. Add that to Microsoft's $10 for Windows phones, that's $30 a phone loss on their profit margin. Now add another $20 in subsidized purchases from your local carrier....that's ZERO profit margin on a $70 HTC droid based phone.

    Also, during the elections this year, I experienced first hand what a Samsung Galaxy IIIs looks like....I asked the polling station person if that was the new iPhone 5 and she said "Nope that's a Samsung".

    Another thing Droid fans don't realize is that Google is continually encouraging the patent war by giving phone makers and patent trolls alike "defensive patents". HTC and Apple were probably the first to realize this and decided to just drop everything...you won't see much if HTC I'm the droid market since they've switched mainly to Windows Phone.

     

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      Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 5:53am

      Re:

      *you won't see much of HTC in the droid market for long because they've switched to Windows Phone as their new OS.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:09am

      Re:

      You have an apt name.

      Why would you pay for both windows and android license when producing a phone?

      And also I think your figures are horribly wrong, google probably gets around $3 per android device sold.

       

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        Michael, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:50am

        Re: Re:

        Yup.

        Neither of those make sense. Google does not license Android to HTC, just some of their specific applications (like Google Play). Microsoft DOES charge licensing fees for about 50% of the android devices out there - you know to license an OS that Microsoft had nothing to do with developing, but I don't know which side of the fence HTC falls on that deal.

        As far as HTC dropping Android for Windows phone? Well, they seem to have split the market and are producing both low-cost phones and high-end phones. It seems unlikely that they will want to suffer the cost of Windows phone licensing on their low-end phones as it is considerably more expensive.

         

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          Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          When they completely drop android features altogether, HTC will actually gain a Profit Margin. I'm not sure of what else HTC does outside of telecommunications. Heck they developed LTE. And yes it's very difficult to see which side of the fence they are on except for ending things. An article on Ars Technica and Slashgear mentioned that it's a non-royalties settlement.

          As for Apple's position. I'm seeing a lot of change since John Ives took over as supreme commander in design after Frestall got sacked. One has to remember that outside of the now fairly legitimate looking Apple complaint against Samsung on Design (iPhone 5 cases fit exactly on Samsung Galaxy SIII devices, and when covered I couldn't tell the difference. So my guess is that Tim Cook wanted this all along but John Forstall was impeding progress because "his" designs were being copied.

           

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            balaknair (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So Samsung copied the iPhone 5 and released the Galaxy S3 months before the iPhone 5 was released(S III - May 2012, iPhone 5 - Sept 12, 2012)? So apparently the next anti-Samsung lawsuit from Apple will accuse them of violating Apple's patents on time travel.

            And seriously, you mistook a Galaxy S III for an iPhone 5(or any iPhone)?
            http://asset0.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/09/18/archimedes_35438535_51_610x436.jpg

            Time to pick up a new prescription at the optometrist's.

             

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              Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The iPhone 5 was in design stages since the iPhone 4 release in 2010 by Steve Jobs himself until the time of his death in OCTOBER LAST YEAR. It sports a slightly larger screen than the iPhone 4S and is 16x9. Samsung has made Apple's mobile sevice chips for ages. It's easy to see how similar they are in design and I'm not talking about rounded corners alone. You should look at the Samsung interface. Samsung had access to iPhone 4S schematics and iPhone 5 schematics in order to make their processors. Tell me, how does it take Samsung 3 months to design, develop, prototype something and then finalize the product release after they built the initial processors specifically to fit Apple's design perimeters and specifications?

               

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                balaknair (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Riiiiight.
                Are you suggesting that
                a) Apple has been designing the iPhone 5 since 2010, but
                b) Samsung designed, developed, prototyped and then released the S III in just three months?

                I suppose I could point you to Wikipedia where it says work on the S III began in 2010, or how similar it is physically to the Galaxy Nexus(released in November 2011, a full year before the iPhone 5), how it uses a quad-core Cortex A9 processor with Mali-400 quad-core GPU and not the customised Apple A6 dual-core processor with a 3-core PowerVR GPU found in an iPhone 5.
                But since you appear to be immune to reality within your RDF, I guess I shouldn't waste my time.

                And disregard my comment about the optometrist's prescription earlier. That's not the prescription you need.

                 

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                  Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:07pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  The components are different per phone, but in order for Samsung to make the A6X processor, they need a model to go by to fit the parts.

                   

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      The eejit (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:20am

      Re:

      The target was never HTC - they were one of the two major companies that the Android OS works with: thus, the major legal targets by MS and Apple.

      Take those tow out fo the game, and Android is in a much weaker position.

      ...Innovators, my ass. More like fucking vultures.

       

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        Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:59am

        Re: Re:

        HTC is repsonsuble for the LTE antenne that most LTS phones have. To answer the AC's rebuttal on Android licensing, it is $20 per device. Due to Microsfot's patent suit they pay $10 per device using droid. This settlement was not based in monetary licensing or FRAND agreaments. It was a "lets drop the fight and see what happens" settlement allowing HTC to develope more mobile phone standards like LTE.

        Furthermore, with Forestall out of the picture at Apple, it seems Apple has become more kind under Sir John Ives' complete control and oversight of design at Apple.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

      Re:

      The fund is strong with this one.

      So I suppose Google is also charging Amazon 20 dollars per kindle fire to license Android (an open source OS) as well. :roll eyes:

      The few dollars Google actually does charge for their closed source Apps (not to be confused with the OS which is free without the Google Apps), pales in comparison to the 10s of dollars per phone MS charges for windows phone 8 licenses, with the same carrier fees on top of it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

        Re: Re:

        Sigh damn auto correct. Fund = fud.

         

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        Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

        Re: Re:

        What Google means by "Open Source" is that users are licensed to do whatever the hell they want to, but you pay $20 to use their programming code and kernel. Outside of that, the shell is all yours.

         

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          Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Example: You have to pay for a licensing fee for making a Unix based operating system in which you have to pay for using the core kernel of Unix, but you may design the shell as much as possible.

          As far as Apple licensing its technologies, 7 to 8 dollars per device sold was the average fee for Macintosh clones and compared to anything Motorola Mobility has put at as FRAND and Industry Standards Patent licensing fees, is quite reasonable too.

           

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    In other news

    UK courts have decided that Apple must pay Samsung's legal bills.

    \laugh at Apple

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 7:08am

      Re: In other news

      Please tell me that's true, and not just wishful thinking, that would just be so absolutely hilarious if it was.

       

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      Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 7:17am

      Re: In other news

      Samsung still gets the butt end of it because the judge ordered Apple to also state that Samsung "Is not as cool, and therefore did not copy Apple's design." Though after personally confusing a polling station worker's phone for an iPhone 5, I'd disagree that Samsung did not copy brcause the Samsung Galaxy IIIs was what I was seeing. I has to ask twice.

       

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        The eejit (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 7:39am

        Re: Re: In other news

        So full of shit it's not funny.

        I've seen both up close and from a distance: the only way you could confuse the two is if you were actually an amoeba.

         

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          Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:18am

          Re: Re: Re: In other news

          Then how do you explain that a cover meant for the iPhone 5 fits exactly onto a Galaxy IIIS? The home button has the same shape and square symbol...sonething that has been on the iPod touch sunce its firs generation. At a glance in a cover, the only way you can tell them apart is by the interface alone. Even then from the average consumer's point of view, it's still hard to tell. Google did not copy Apple's interface design features, Samsung did. The initial interface and OS shell is made by the phone's manufacturer. The kernel is Android. So keep that in mind.

           

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            balaknair (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: In other news

            Dude, wtf are you smoking?

            iPhone 5 dimensions
            123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

            Galaxy S III dimensions
            136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

            Unless the iPhone 5 cover you're talking is elastic, it cannot 'fit exactly' onto an S III.
            Have you even seen a Galaxy S III? The home button has the same shape with a square symbol? Forget the home buttons, even the phones themselves are shaped different. I'd say your polling station worker had an iPhone 5 and was just 'coitusing' with you, maybe she felt you were an Apple fanboi and wanted to mess with your head.
            Just take a look at the pic I linked to above to see the iPhone 5 and S III side by side. Or read this
            http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/05/04/the-samsung-galaxy-s-iii-the-first-smartphone-designed -entirely-by-lawyers/

             

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              Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: In other news

              Can you determine the difference of 10 millimeters from 5 feet away???

               

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                balaknair (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: In other news

                What does the 5 feet distance have to do with anything? Or do you mean to say you determined that the S III was identical to the iPhone 5 from five feet away?

                And actually, yes I can make out that a ~124 x 59 mm object is smaller than a ~136 x 70mm, even at five feet. And I can see that a flattened trapezoid button does not look like a circle with a square symbol on it. And I can definitely spot the difference between a 100 mm screen and a 120 mm screen from 5 feet away.

                Seriously, go take a look at an actual S III or at least a picture of it on google image search or something before typing such utter BS.

                 

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            The eejit (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 11:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: In other news

            Wait, so let me get this straight:

            You're arguing against someone that has used both phones to do the same thing and had to use different methods of getting there, have radically different shapes and different methods of betting tot he main screen.

            ...and you're syaing that Samsung copied Apple?

            Samsung have had the one-touch-home thing for at least ten years. I still have my old Samsung phone lying around. So, remind me again why that's patented?

             

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            Jason, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: In other news

            Okay, you clearly are an idiot... the GS3 is nowhere close to the same size as an iPhone 5. http://www.digitaltrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/iphone-5-v-samsung-galaxy-s3.jpg

            Now go away.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:50pm

        Re: Re: In other news

        More fud. The UK court didn't force Apple to say Samsung was not as cool, and in fact Apple has to pay all of Samsungs legal fees for not stating what the court really did order them to state.

         

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          btrussell (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: In other news

          I've suspected wally and aj are one and the same for a while now.

          There couldn't be enough room on the planet for both of their egos.

           

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            Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: In other news

            You failed to look at the snowflake next to my name and when I claim my account to the name used here, you will see I'm a separate person. I have been known to have people rethink their position from time to time. For you lovely historians out there saying the GS3 was released in 2011 almost a full year before the iPhone 5, you seem to forget that the iPhone 5 was scheduled for release in 2010 but nixed by Jobs in favor of the iPhone 4S. There also seems to be a number of people who forget that iOS had been around since the inception of the first Generation iPod touch which predates Samsung's non-droid OS, which came out in 2010, by 4 years.

             

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        Jason, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

        Re: Re: In other news

        If you can't tell an iPhone 5 from a GS III, it's you that has a problem, not Samsung... they're both smart phones, and they both have a glass screen, and that's pretty much the extent of the similarities.

         

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          Wally (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 6:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: In other news

          It's also hard at 5 feet away without a side by side comparison at an odd angle. The mere fact it took me a double take and a question to figure it out (as it was covered by a case and facing up so I couldn't see labeling or a camera lens) is enough to assume consumer confusion. Try field testing yourself under similar conditions with a friend setting up both phones randomly without telling you which is which in a similar case cover.

           

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        indieThing, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:23am

        Re: Re: In other news

        Sorry Wally, but I think you need your eyes testing ;)

        I currently have a Samsung Galaxy SIII and it's nothing like an iPhone from a design view. The top and bottom are rounded where the iPhones are flat, the phone itself is much larger, the buttons are different shapes and there are even more differences I could mention.

        And, let's face it, mobile phone design is pretty much converging on a basic shape/design. Form follows functionality.

        Having been in the mobile industry for over 10 years, I can tell you for sure that Apple didn't produce much that was new in the phone world - they just done it better than most - with things such as smooth screen interfaces, more sensitive touch screens and an all round more pleasant user experience.

         

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    HrilL, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    S3 Patents. HTC got the S3 graphics patents and took pretty much every computer product Apple makes to the ITC and was going to get a product ban on import for pretty much all of them since Apple refused to license these patents. Apple was forced to settle if they wanted to continue to sell computers in the USA. This is a win for HTC!

     

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