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Apple and Google agree to drop all ongoing lawsuits, will work toward patent reform

post #1 of 136
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After years of being embroiled in lawsuits, Apple and Google on Friday announced they would be dropping all actions related to smartphone technology. The peace treaty is mainly applicable to Google's Motorola subsidiary, with which Apple has been fighting in court since 2010.

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According to joint statement issued today, the companies not only agreed to drop ongoing lawsuits, but promised to work together on patent reform, one of the most hotly contested topics in tech, reports Reuters.

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


As a result of the agreement, Apple and Google informed a federal appeals court in Washington that all cases pending and ongoing should be dismissed. Both companies entered numerous filings on Friday.

Apple was first sued by Motorola in 2010 over alleged infringement of smartphone technology patents. Apple responded with its own countersuit, which spawned a number of ancillary cases across the U.S. and Europe.

Google then inherited the dispute when it bought Motorola Mobility in 2012. At the time, Google's Larry Page characterized Apple and Microsoft's litigation against Motorola as "anticompetitive," which forced the Internet search giant to acquire the beleaguered handset maker.

It was reported in January that Google would be selling off the Motorola name to Lenovo, but would keep a "vast majority" of approximately 17,000 held patents for purposes of licensing and bolstering Android's backend.

The agreement comes amid a boom in tech-related litigation from companies, individuals and so-called "patent trolls." Larger firms are looking to patent reform as a way to curb the onslaught of lawsuits, but efforts have been fruitless thus far. Apple and HTC announced a similar agreement to dismiss ongoing litigation in 2012 that came with a ten-year licensing deal crafted to protect against future suits.

Today's Apple-Google announcement specifically noted there would be no cross-licensing agreements between the to companies, an unsurprising move given the intense competition between the iOS and Android operating systems. The background as to why the two companies decided to the peace treaty is unclear, though the step forward does not impact Apple's ongoing lawsuits with other handset makers that use Google's Android operating system, including Samsung.

post #2 of 136
Steve must be rolling over in his thermonuclear grave.
post #3 of 136

Interesting...

post #4 of 136
Wow. Cool.

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post #5 of 136
Damnit..I wanted them to hit them hard. I truly think they waited too long to go after them. You have to be able to protect your IP. I guess this doesn't mean that lawsuits can't be brought up in the future. But damnit if Google isn't still a thief to end all thieves.
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post #6 of 136
There must be more to this agreement other than "we agree to work together." How long will it take to get out, I wonder...
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post #7 of 136
This is going to fun to read.

Good for Apple and Google as they now can both continue to bring great products to market.
post #8 of 136
April 1st already passed this year...
post #9 of 136

I prefer war over peace.

 

I also think that most people who comment on the internet about patent cases and come with the cliched comment and talking point that the whole patent system needs to be reformed, what they really mean is that it should be made even easier for everybody to steal from Apple, as those people don't really view many of Apple's patents as being valid.

post #10 of 136
Hmm, on a Friday afternoon. Neither Apple nor Google wants any attention or coverage?
post #11 of 136
Nice to see. And if they are able to agree on a cross license that would be even better.
post #12 of 136

Couldn't have happened soon enough.

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post #13 of 136
Absolutely not! Google is a one trick pony (search). Apple will have too much to loose
post #14 of 136

This has nothing to do with other outstanding lawsuits (Samsung, Rockstar, etc.), so let the lawsuits continue!

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post #15 of 136
Introducing the worlds most advanced smart phone ever ....the

AppleGoo iAndPhone.
post #16 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This has nothing to do with other outstanding lawsuits (Samsung, Rockstar, etc.). Amirite?
Not sure about Rockstar. But the Samsung trials stand. It's just Apple and Google (and Motorola), not the OEM's.
post #17 of 136

I hope everything gets settled in the end. This is getting old and ridiculous. Time to move on already. 

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post #18 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

There must be more to this agreement other than "we agree to work together." How long will it take to get out, I wonder...

 

The Verge said that there was no cross-licensing agreement, so one might assume that Google buckled and settled?

 

Wall Street must've gotten the inside track on this. Anyone else notice how the stock jumped back up to nearly $600 at the end of trading today?

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post #19 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharmkid02 View Post

Absolutely not! Google is a one trick pony (search). Apple will have too much to loose
I personally think both companies can benefit from a cross license (cross licenses don't necessarily need to include the complete portfolio of each company). You say Google is a one trick pony but Google also has an extensive portfolio of IP regarding AI which might be interesting to Apple.
post #20 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

I hope everything gets settled in the end. This is getting old and ridiculous. Time to move on already. 

 

In terms of "lawsuit years" this hasn't really been going on that long. Just because it is over reported here and in the news does not make it unusual in terms of patent suits.

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post #21 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post


I personally think both companies can benefit from a cross license (cross licenses don't necessarily need to include the complete portfolio of each company). You say Google is a one trick pony but Google also has an extensive portfolio of IP regarding AI which might be interesting to Apple.

 

There was no cross-licensing agreement reached as a result of this action.

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post #22 of 136
Looks like we're going to need a bigger sandbox. Perhaps it's got something to do about iTunes going android and the new Beats big wigs making inroads into signing as many contracts possible before they take the show from the sandbox to the court.
post #23 of 136

Peace treaties are only worth as much as the integrity of each party signing that agreement.

 

Does anybody really think that if Apple were to introduce a new revolutionary device, that Google wouldn't be scrambling to copy that device as soon as they could?

 

What would Apple do then? Stick to the "peace treaty" and pretend like nothing's happened or would they declare war? 

 

Look at what happened to naive Europe when certain countries signed the Munich agreement. Look at what happened to foolish Russia when they made a pact with Germany. Certain terrorist groups are also known for wanting a peace treaty (whenever things are going badly for them), but it's merely a ploy to grant a temporary halt in fighting, so that they can regroup and continue on with their main goal, which is the opposite of peace.

post #24 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

Peace treaties are only worth as much as the integrity of both parties signing that agreement.

 

Does anybody really think that if Apple were to introduce a new revolutionary device, that Google wouldn't be scrambling to copy that device as soon as they could?

 

What would Apple do then? Stick to the "peace treaty" and pretend like nothing's happened or would they declare war? 

 

Look at what happened to naive Europe when certain countries signed the Munich agreement. Look at what happened to foolish Russia when they made a pact with Germany. Certain terrorist groups are also known for wanting a peace treaty (when things are going badly for them), but it's merely a ploy to grant a temporary halt in fighting, so that they can regroup and continue on with their main goal, which is the opposite of peace.

 

I don't believe this will have any effect on future inventions or patents. I could be wrong, but that would be an unusual arrangement especially with no cross-licensing agreement.

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post #25 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There was no cross-licensing agreement reached as a result of this action.
I know, but I had the impression that his comment was in regard of that.(With the article mentioning cross license although not part of this agreement)
As he described Google as one trick pony and with Apple too much to loose, sounded like he was talking about cross licensing.
post #26 of 136
Google wants this because it creates an illusion of credibility for Android, but it doesn't actually help a Google OEM that goes ahead and adds UI elements and functionality on top of Android that violate Apple patents. So Apple doesn't really give up anything.

Apple is okay with this deal because it knows that Android is a fragmented mess that is falling behind iOS; just watch the attempt to move Android to 64-bit that will take years before the OS and app ecosystem are truly 64-bit (meaning, not simply compiled as 64-bit apps, but optimized as 64-bit apps). And Apple is about to extend its ecosystem in several carefully planned directions that will further make Android look like a left-over from the crap-piled-on-crap Windows-era OS paradigm. Apple simply understands that this battle is no longer needed.
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post #27 of 136
Anything to do with Chinese copycats? (ehum Mi Pad).

Why fight each other when both your ideas and designs are being usurped by foreign companies in the worlds second largest economy, a source of incredible value.

They'll probably make a joint effort to protect American ideas abroad by lobbying to change chinese ip law....if the idea of ip even exists in their culture.
post #28 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 

 

In terms of "lawsuit years" this hasn't really been going on that long. Just because it is over reported here and in the news does not make it unusual in terms of patent suits.

 

So, its still too long. Everyone has to lose and Apple has to win right?

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post #29 of 136

If the settlement didn't happen  now  it would have when Lenovo took over the company.  Motorola lost money and didn't really sell enough handsets to be a threat to Apple.  Motorola sued first and Google inherited the lawsuit once they bought the company.  Lenovo probably just told Google to make the lawsuits to go away.

post #30 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by muaddib View Post

If the settlement didn't happen  now  it would have when Lenovo took over the company.  Motorola lost money and didn't really sell enough handsets to be a threat to Apple.  Motorola sued first and Google inherited the lawsuit once they bought the company.  Lenovo probably just told Google to make the lawsuits to go away.
Well the last part of your comment could have been a possibility if the agreement was just between Motorola and Apple. But it is between Google (and includes Motorola) and Apple.
post #31 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Peace treaties are only worth as much as the integrity of each party signing that agreement.

Does anybody really think that if Apple were to introduce a new revolutionary device, that Google wouldn't be scrambling to copy that device as soon as they could?

What would Apple do then? Stick to the "peace treaty" and pretend like nothing's happened or would they declare war? 

Look at what happened to naive Europe when certain countries signed the Munich agreement. Look at what happened to foolish Russia when they made a pact with Germany. Certain terrorist groups are also known for wanting a peace treaty (whenever things are going badly for them), but it's merely a ploy to grant a temporary halt in fighting, so that they can regroup and continue on with their main goal, which is the opposite of peace.

Because Apple is the only company in the world to come up with revolutionary products. Um, no. They have before but so has other companies.
post #32 of 136
This is great news!  It's good to see both sides taking a less aggressive stance with each other.  It'll be interesting to see what comes of the patent reform talk (if anything).
post #33 of 136
I feel PED's summation is nearest the mark of all the articles I have read on this ... http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2014/05/16/apple-google-motorola-detente/
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post #34 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post


Well the last part of your comment could have been a possibility if the agreement was just between Motorola and Apple. But it is between Google (and includes Motorola) and Apple.

This is about Motorola. Thats why there are no cross licenses. Google caved to make sure their deal to sell Motorola goes through. What company would be silly enough to buy a failing company who is tied up in court cases.  

post #35 of 136

Crap.

 

So Google won.

 

Waiting for Google and Comcast to combine and screw us all.

post #36 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

This is about Motorola. Thats why there are no cross licenses. Google caved to make sure their deal to sell Motorola goes through. What company would be silly enough to buy a failing company who is tied up in court cases.  

So why did Apple cave?
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post #37 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

How dare you!?  AI is serious business!  ;)

 

In response to the article:  This is great news!  It's good to see both sides taking a less aggressive stance with each other.  It'll be interesting to see what comes of the patent reform talk (if anything).

 

The only thing AI is serious about is posting articles that have nothing to do with Apple (ie. Samsung this, Samsung that) and then failing to post the real Apple news, and/or rumors. 

 

On the other note, yes I agree. Lets get this over with already and stop these stupid lawsuits. 

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post #38 of 136
Didn't Google sell Motorola?
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post #39 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

This is about Motorola. Thats why there are no cross licenses. Google caved to make sure their deal to sell Motorola goes through. What company would be silly enough to buy a failing company who is tied up in court cases.  
Euhmm... No, not only Motorola. The attached document is specific for the dismissal of the Motorola-Apple court case. The general agreement to dismiss all current court cases is an Apple-Google agreement.
post #40 of 136
It's interesting to watch opinions split down the middle. Google fans have consistently posted "concern" for Apple's alleged lack of innovation supposedly because Apple was spending it's money litigating ("innovate don't litigate" meme). These are the same people who are most excited over this news, NOT because they ever claimed the litigation prevented Google from innovating, but because (they claimed) it prevented Apple from innovating. But why would they care about Apple's self-destruction when they hate Apple products? Because they want Apple to create the next big thing for Google and their "partners" to copy. If that were not true, then all the handwringing "concern" expressed about Apple's lack of competitiveness was feigned, which is the very definition of concern trolling.

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