Print 33 comment(s) - last by TakinYourPoint.. on Nov 12 at 10:06 PM

Apple, HTC kiss and make up

Before his death, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs stated that he was willing to go "thermonuclear" on Google and the manufacturers that produce devices running Android OS. It appears that current Apple CEO Tim Cook, however, is taking a softer approach on the warfront.
Apple and HTC have been in and out of court for years, battling over smartphone patents. Most recently, Apple lost its bid to ban HTC's One X and EVO 4G LTE over its claim of infringement on a "data tapping" patent. However, both companies announced yesterday that the two companies have reached a settlement on all pending litigation. All current lawsuits are being tossed and the two companies have entered into a ten-year licensing agreement.

Apple CEO Tim Cook [Image Source: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg]
“HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation,” said HTC CEO Peter Chou.
“We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”

The terms of the agreement are confidential.

HTC CEO Peter Chou [Image Source: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg]
HTC has been taking on water in recent months, and has seen an erosion of profits as Samsung has strengthened its position in the smartphone market.
HTC has also made drastic cuts to its research and development programs while also scaling back its marketing efforts. Perhaps Apple just doesn't see much of a threat from HTC anymore, and was more willing to make a deal.
Apple still has a hard-on for Samsung, so we doubt that the boys from Cupertino will be reaching any licensing agreements with that South Korean electronics giant any time soon.

Source: Apple

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RE: What innovation?
By Tony Swash on 11/12/2012 8:40:10 AM , Rating: -1
Not only are they one of the technology firms investing the least percentages of their revenue on innovation, most of that on buying innovative companies,

What an odd and misleading thing to say given the reality.

Because Apple's revenues are so much bigger than it's competitors then it can easily outspend them whilst using a smaller proportion of it's revenues. Apple is outspending almost everybody else in investing in new production techniques and infrastructure, including Amazon, Microsoft, Google and even Intel. See here for the data;

Also Apple makes far fewer corporate acquisitions than it's competitors.

In relation to the HTC deal, this particular settlement is part of pattern of lost IP cases which is slowly enmeshing Android, so far 16 different patents have been deemed valid and infringed by Android devices. The Android camp's most significant legal wins have been defensive (fending off claims as opposed to successfully asserting one's own patents against a rival), and the entire Android camp is presently enforcing only one patent against Apple and none against Microsoft. FRAND abuse has not proven to be a viable strategy, it has not resulted in any presently-enforceable injunction, but it has triggered multiple antitrust investigations.

Apple's probable aim with it's own legal strategy was to establish a reputation and thus create a new culture around the way other companies viewed 'borrowing' or emulating or mimicking Apple's designs. It appears to be working. What Apple now has is a strong reputation as an aggressive defender of what it considers to be it's IP and a company that is very willing to take aggressive legal action. That may have been Apple's prime motivation to start with, to create a reputation that would over time deter companies from copying Apple's IP in a cavalier and care free way.

Such a strategy won't stop copying but Apple knows that if it can succeed in establishing a reputation as a company that will come out with all legal guns blazing at the smallest provocation then it is inevitable that that will have a deterrent effect some of the time.

As far as the HTC settlement is concerned one cannot know the exact reasons why it came about without being privy to secret information but one way Apple might have looked at this was to ask itself 'why bother to murder a dying man?'

RE: What innovation?
By nafhan on 11/12/2012 10:47:26 AM , Rating: 1
"Uhm, uhm, uhm, Apple's still innovating! Look they spent a bunch of money on manufacturing equipment!" You're reaching, man.

Anyway, Apple signed a licensing deal with an Android handset manufacturer. We don't know why, but I can say with 100% certainty that "licensing deal" is VERY different from "thermonuclear war".

I'd also guess that coming to an agreement with HTC has more to do with long term strategy in their battle with Samsung than anything specific about HTC. For instance, it could be used to make it look like Samsung is the unreasonable party, rather than Apple.

RE: What innovation?
By Tony Swash on 11/12/12, Rating: -1
RE: What innovation?
By Proposer88 on 11/12/2012 12:55:14 PM , Rating: 4
Oh, boy, where to start?
1) Job's remarks were not, repeat, WERE NOT "off the cuff". They are written in his F********* official biography by his F********** official biographer
2) Do you know EXACTLY when Steve Jobs said that? Do you know if he was in pain when saying it? No, you don't
3) In any case, even assuming his illness somehow affected his brain and made him say things he wouldn't otherwise say, he still was the CEO of Apple when he said them.

RE: What innovation?
By Helbore on 11/12/2012 1:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
How'd you know the details of the secret agreement, Tony? Do you know if Apple are paying anything to HTC for use of their patents, as is common in cross-licensing deals?

Plus "move towards Windows Phones?" You do know that HTC have been manufacturing Windows Mobiles for years before Apple ever released the first iPhone, right?

RE: What innovation?
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/12/2012 1:35:25 PM , Rating: 3
Psst, he works for Apple if you haven't figured it out by now...

but shhh, it's secret!

RE: What innovation?
By nafhan on 11/12/2012 3:58:26 PM , Rating: 3
So, what Steve Jobs says is the gospel... unless he said something dumb. Then it's the "off the cuff remarks of a man in pain and dying of cancer"!?!

I thought you had already reached bottom with your nonsense. Boy was I was wrong...

RE: What innovation?
By nafhan on 11/12/2012 4:21:08 PM , Rating: 3
'nother question since you seem to have the inside line on this: Was Stevo's comments regarding 7" tablets also the cancer speaking?

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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