Cher Wang, Chairwoman of HTC (source)
Summary: HTC signs a secret cross-licensing agreement with Apple, reminding us of Microsoft’s extortion of Android/Linux
TWO and a half years ago Apple officially launched its patent attack on Linux. It started with HTC, a company with few patents, and we covered it closely at the time. Well, the case has just been settled.
“The terms of the settlement are confidential and were not disclosed” as part of the signing of this deal, which is a “patent cross-licensing agreement” — a 10-year licensing deal which raises questions about the cross-licensing cartel.
Rupert Murdoch’s papers say:
Smartphone manufacturer HTC and Apple Inc. announced Saturday a settlement ending the first major battle over software patents between the technology giants.
Along with a global patent settlement, the two companies announced they’d signed a 10-year license agreement that will extend to current and future patents held by one other.
Apple and HTC had battled patents over various smartphone features since March 2010.
Most of Apple’s legal success has come in the battle against HTC as far as stymying the entry of products to the U.S. market.
In 2011 the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that HTC infringed on one of four patents Apple had disputed and imposed a sales ban on some of the Taiwanese maker’s phones.
The main worry here, Apple might be getting money out of it and even if not, Apple might use this to extort or pressure into submission other companies. This is not about Apple walking away from litigation per se. █