Android eats Apple

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Mobile


Apple and Google said late Friday that they have dismissed a series of lawsuits in which they were directly suing one another.

The suits being settled involved Apple and Google’s Motorola unit, which is in the process of being sold to Lenovo.

“Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies,” Apple and Google said in a joint statement. “Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. The agreement does not include a cross license.”

However, the move doesn’t bring an end to Apple’s patent issues against makers of Android hardware, most notably Samsung. A federal jury in San Jose earlier this month ordered Samsung to pay Apple $119 million in damages, ruling its Android phones infringed on Apple’s patents. An earlier trial and partial retrial resulted in more than $900 million in damages being award to Apple.

Both cases are likely to face years of appeals.

As for the cooperation, the companies didn’t offer any further details, but presumably they share a common enemy in the “non-practicing entities” sometimes referred to as patent trolls.

Motorola, then a separate company from Google, sued Apple in 2010 alleging a wide range of patents were infringed by Apple products.

That touched off a massive, multi-continent legal battle that included lawsuits and counter-suits in the U.S. as well as International Trade Commission actions and legal battles in Germany.

There were about 20 pending actions in the U.S. and Germany that will be dismissed as a result of this agreement.

Google paid $12 billion to acquire Motorola, in large part for its patent portfolio. However, many of its patents are the kind of fundamental patents needed for communications protocols, known as standards essential-patents.

Apple has argued, often successfully, that standards-essential patents should not be used to issue injunctions on products.




5 comments
BruceK
BruceK

Apple and Google stop suing one another. In other news, Hell has frozen over.


Bahmani
Bahmani

How no one seemed to include the ENTIRE PRODUCT NAMING issue and got bogged down in petty complex patent subtleties is stunning and reminds of the days when we were creaming at apple to defend the user interface and trash icon against Microsoft.

Hello? 5S S5????!

Or how about the entire concept of "swiping"?

This leads me to believe that this was nothing more than a mutually agreed upon ad campaign and branding.

shm224
shm224

would this also end Apple's patent trolling operation, Rockstar Consortium's lawsuits?

DED
DED

@shm224  No, Apple funded Rockstar (along with most of the rest of the industry outside of Google) to prevent those patents from being bought up by trolls. Google bid the patents into the billions in a failed attempt to get them for itself, so now the Rockstar partners want Google to help pay for them.


You can call Rockstar a "troll," but it was really a troll insurance, and now Google faces the consequences of being a dick.


All that's happened here is that Google's other effort to buy a lot of patents via Motorola has collapsed entirely, and now that the search giant is selling off Motorola, it doesn't make any sense to perpetuate a bunch of lawsuits that don't matter anymore. 


Apple has no reason to sue Google over Motorola, because Google has only ever lost money trying to sell Android phones. Motorola lost billions in Google's two year experiment, eating up $700 million of Google's earnings over just the past six months.   

RattyUK
RattyUK

@DED @shm224  "No, Apple funded Rockstar (along with most of the rest of the industry outside of Google)"


Actually Google were originally invited to take part in the consortium, but decided to go it alone and bid in mathematical constants. 


If instead of doing a math peeing contest they'd taken a look into what Nortel had then maybe, just maybe, they'd have spotted that search patent that predates pagerank that Nortel had.

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