Feeds

Apple, Google: WE SURRENDER ... to each other in patent war truce

Does the settlement mean peace in our time?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Apple and Google have asked a US federal judge to dismiss all patent litigation between the two companies after four years of legal battles, we're told.

Documents submitted on Friday to a Washington federal appeals court requested an end to the patent war, the pair revealed. Piles of allegations of infringement were consolidated into a single action back in 2012, and Friday's filing makes it clear that that battle is now over.

"Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies," the companies 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."

Thus ends one of the most rancorous chapters in the patent wars currently being fought in courts around the world. Apple took on Motorola in 2010 as part of Steve Jobs' "thermonuclear war" against Android, with the Apple boss vowing to "spend my last dying breath if I need to."

A year later and he was gone, but Tim Cook and Apple's army of lawyers carried on the fight. Google bought Motorola in 2012, adding some much needed legal protection to the struggling smartphone vendor, and the Chocolate Factory and Apple have been duking it out in the courts ever since. Now Lenovo is in the process of gobbling Motorola Mobility.

Judging from the carefully worded statement, this isn't the end of Apple's patent battles. It looks likely that Cupertino will carry on suing its competitors that use Google's operating system, unless some other deal can be struck with vendors such as Samsung.

That looks unlikely. Apple is currently beating Samsung like a red-headed stepchild in the courts, and secured a $120m judgment against the company earlier this month – although that is under appeal.

That sounds good, but the size of the settlement will barely cover Apple's legal bills in the case, and does nothing to stop Samsung from carrying on selling its Android-powered smartphones and fondleslabs.

It may be that Tim Cook, ever a man with an eye on the bottom line, has decided that going up against Google in court would be too expensive and show little financial benefit to Apple in the long term.

Those of you with seismology equipment may want to listen in California for the rumbling sound of Steve Jobs hitting 200rpm in his unmarked grave. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.