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Apple-HTC patent deal doesn't include designs, 'cloned' iDevices

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Apple's licensing agreement with HTC excludes any of the fruity firm's design patents and any HTC products that are "clones" of iDevices.

The deal has been published in a heavily redacted format with a California court as a result of Samsung's ongoing legal struggles with Cupertino, in which Samsung successfully petitioned the court for the agreement, but only got the unredacted form for Attorney Eyes only.

The redacted public version shows that Apple and HTC are both getting nonexclusive, non-transferrable and non-sublicensable licences to each other's patents and Cupertino has also agreed not to sue HTC over certain products, though the details of which ones have been blacked out.

However, the deal excludes Apple's design patents and nine HTC patents as well as any of the Taiwanese firm's gear that Apple deems to be be "cloned" versions of its own products.

The licences also won't pass on to any company that acquires Apple or HTC: if either of the firms is slurped by another, the licences will automatically terminate.

The entire document outlining the agreement is marked confidential on every page, and includes the exact wording of the press release, presumably to ensure that neither firm accidentally tells anyone any actual details of the deal.

Samsung wants the agreement in the court record as ammunition for the hearing on bans for its products, taking place later today. Apple won $1bn in the case, and also has the right to ask for injunctions against the Galaxy devices listed in the suit.

Samsung will use the agreement to argue that monetary relief is fine for Apple, it doesn't need bans in order to be compensated for infringement. A billion dollars, or even triple that if the judge decides to exercise that right, would be a small price for Sammy to pay to keep its top-selling mobes on US shelves. ®

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