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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2014
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.

Google


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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 148
    wwchriswwchris Posts: 58member
    Steve must be rolling over in his thermonuclear grave.
  • Reply 2 of 148
    lord amhranlord amhran Posts: 902member

    Interesting...

  • Reply 3 of 148
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    Wow. Cool.
  • Reply 4 of 148
    alcstarheelalcstarheel Posts: 554member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 148
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    There must be more to this agreement other than "we agree to work together." How long will it take to get out, I wonder...
  • Reply 6 of 148
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,274member
    This is going to fun to read.

    Good for Apple and Google as they now can both continue to bring great products to market.
  • Reply 7 of 148
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,332member
    April 1st already passed this year...
  • Reply 8 of 148
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    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.

  • Reply 9 of 148
    mubailimubaili Posts: 442member
    Hmm, on a Friday afternoon. Neither Apple nor Google wants any attention or coverage?
  • Reply 10 of 148
    chipsychipsy Posts: 287member
    Nice to see. And if they are able to agree on a cross license that would be even better.
  • Reply 11 of 148
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    Couldn't have happened soon enough.

  • Reply 12 of 148
    Absolutely not! Google is a one trick pony (search). Apple will have too much to loose
  • Reply 13 of 148
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member

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

  • Reply 14 of 148
    stephanjobsstephanjobs Posts: 273member
    Introducing the worlds most advanced smart phone ever ....the

    AppleGoo iAndPhone.
  • Reply 15 of 148
    chipsychipsy Posts: 287member
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">This has nothing to do with other outstanding lawsuits (Samsung, Rockstar, etc.). Amirite?</span>
    Not sure about Rockstar. But the Samsung trials stand. It's just Apple and Google (and Motorola), not the OEM's.
  • Reply 16 of 148
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,175member

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

  • Reply 17 of 148
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    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?

  • Reply 18 of 148
    chipsychipsy Posts: 287member
    pharmkid02 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 148
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    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.

  • Reply 20 of 148
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    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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