Apple and Google settle patent war on smartphone OS platforms

Apple and Google, makers of smartphone platforms iOS and Android OS, respectively, have settled their long-running patent war.

The technology titans said in a joint statement yesterday said they have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies.

In addition, Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. They did not share additional details.


The companies made it clear that the truce does not include licensing their technology to each other.

Motorola — even before the acquisition by the online search engine Google — filed a patent lawsuit against Apple in US federal court four years ago, prompting the iPhone maker to fire back with a patent suit of its own.

Litigation has spread to more than a dozen other courts.

Google took on the legal wrangling when it bought Motorola Mobility in 2012 in what was seen at the time as a move to use its patents for defending Android operating software in the increasingly litigious smartphone and tablet markets, AFP reported.

Early this year, Google agreed to sell Motorola Mobility to China-based computer and smartphone vendor Lenovo. The sale has yet to be completed because delays in getting several approvals in select countries.

California-based Apple has been battling smartphone competitors in courts around the world, accusing rivals using Google’s Android software of copying features from its popular mobile devices.

AFP reports that the legal truce between Apple and Google does not take the pressure off South Korea-based Samsung, which has been a prime legal target for the maker of iPhones and iPads.

A Japanese court ruled earlier that Samsung could seek minimal damages from Apple for patent infringement, with both sides claiming victory in their latest legal skirmish over the design of their smartphones.

Japan’s Intellectual Property High Court ruled that Samsung could claim $98,000 from its US rival for use of Samsung’s data transmission technology, found to have been used in Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

Early this month in Silicon Valley, jurors at a different patent trial held the line on its $119.6 million damages award to Apple in a patent battle with Samsung.

While the amount of the award is huge, it is only a fraction of the more than $2 billion Apple had sought at the outset of the trial against is South Korean competitor in the hot smartphone and tablet computer market.

Jurors agreed that Samsung violated three of five Apple patents at issue in the two-month trial. Jurors also found that Apple violated a Samsung patent and said Apple should pay its rival $158,400 in damages.

Interestingly, the ongoing patent battle is forcing both Apple and Samsung to spend huge sums on legal activities without deriving any substantial results.