Google Settle Smartphone Patent Litigation
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[May 17, 2014]
By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc and
Google Inc's Motorola Mobility unit have agreed to settle all patent
litigation between them over smartphones, 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 one another around the
world to protect their technology. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs
called Android a "stolen product."
Google and Apple informed a federal appeals court in Washington that
their cases against each other should be dismissed, according to
filings on Friday. However, the deal does not apply to Apple's
litigation against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Apple has battled Google and what once were the largest adopters of
its Android mobile software, partly to try to curb the rapid
expansion of the free, rival operating system.
But it has been unable to slow Android's ascendancy, which is now
installed on an estimated 80 percent of new phones sold every year.
Motorola, the U.S. company that pioneered the mobile phone, no
longer ranks among the biggest smartphone makers.
Both Motorola and HTC Corp have been eclipsed by Chinese Android
adopters such as Lenovo Group Ltd - which is buying Motorola - and
Huawei and Xiaomi.
The most high-profile case between Apple and Motorola began in 2010.
Motorola accused Apple of infringing several patents, including one
essential to how cellphones operate on a 3G network, while Apple
said Motorola violated its patents to certain smartphone features.
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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 Motorola.
Apple's biggest victory against Android came against Samsung, where
U.S. juries have awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages.
Those verdicts are on appeal, and despite years of court challenges
to Android, Apple has not been able to win a crippling sales
Google acquired Motorola Mobility in 2012 for $12.5 billion, and
this year announced it was selling Motorola Mobility's handset
business to Lenovo, while keeping the vast majority of the patents.
The case at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is
Apple Inc vs. Motorola Mobility, case number 2012-1528, -1549.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Andre Grenon and Mohammad
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