In what must be cheering news for anyone finding the constant updates of court cases and patent infringements a wee bit wearying (surely everyone?), Apple and Google have promised to bury the hatchet.
And not in each other’s corporate skulls either. On Friday, the two tech giants announced that they would be discontinuing all ongoing and pending lawsuits concerning smartphone technology and instead start actually working together on patent reform.
They issued a joint statement about the decision, which stated, “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 licence.”
They have also accordingly told a federal appeals court in Washington, US to drop all pending and ongoing cases.
The most affected party will be Motorola Mobility – a subsidiary of Google acquired by the Mountain View tech giant in August 2011 for US$12.5 billion, which was then partly sold on to Lenovo in January this year. Patent disputes between Motorola and Apple have been dragging on for the last four years, disputes that Google inherited when it acquired the former three years ago.
The decision to start playing nicely in the sandpit is not unprecedented for Apple. It announced a similar plan with HUTC two years ago, with a 10-year licensing deal attached to prevent further lawsuits.
As regards to the Google decision, however, the two companies emphasised that no such cross-licensing agreements would be forthcoming. Considering the fierce rivalry between iOS and Android, that’s not so surprising.
Neither company revealed their reasons for making the move and, unfortunately, it’s unlikely to open the floodgates of more major tech companies holding hands, swapping daisies and promising to get along. Despite the apparent conclusion of Apple’s latest dispute with Samsung, the premier user of the Android operating system, an appeal of the decision is expected any day…