iNVEZZ.com, Monday, May 19: Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the world’s two largest technology firms, have agreed to settle all patent lawsuits between them, ending their fierce legal battle over smartphones.
The two companies announced the truce in a joint statement on Friday, in which they also said that they would be working together to reform patent law. However, the deal does not include Apple’s patent battle with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, the largest maker of Android-based phones.
In Friday’s trading, Apple shares closed 1.5 percent higher at $597.51. Meanwhile, Google finished the day marginally lower at $528.30.
“Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies,” the two tech giants said in the statement. “Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. The agreement does not include a cross license.”
The deal covers Apple’s patent litigation with Google’s Motorola Mobility unit, which started in 2010, when Motorola sued the iPhone maker for patent infringement. Apple responded by accusing Motorola of copying certain smartphone features covered by its patents.
The agreement signals a de-escalation of hostilities between Apple and Google, which are fierce rivals on multiple technology fronts. However, some observers are not convinced that the deal is particularly significant. Bloomberg quoted Michael Risch, a law professor at Villanova University as saying the announcement was “largely symbolic” as Motorola wasn’t a big competitor anymore and the cooperation showed that Apple wasn’t as concerned about the company.
“When they decide to drop everything with Samsung, then we’ll be talking,” Risch added.
In January, Google agreed to sell Motorola Mobility to China’s Lenovo Corp for $2.91 billion after acquiring it for $12.5 billion in 2012. The online search giant would keep the vast majority of Motorola patents as part of the deal.
‘A new strategy’
According to another academic, Santa Clara University School of Law professor Brian Love, the truce between Apple and Google could signal a change of strategy for the iPhone maker.
“This could signal a new strategy on Apple’s part to focus its litigation efforts even more squarely on Samsung, which is by far the largest Android phone manufacturer,” Love told Bloomberg.
In recent years Samsung and Apple have been entangled in a large-scale patent war, comprising numerous lawsuits around the globe. In the most recent case, ended this month, the Cupertino-based company was awarded only $120 million by a US court after seeking $2 billion in damages from Samsung. The jury also found that Apple infringed one of the South Korean company’s patents, awarding it $158,000. The verdict enables each company to seek a judge’s order banning US sales of some older devices found to violate its patents.
As of Friday’s US close buy Apple shares at $597.51
As of Friday’s US close sell Apple shares at $597.51
As of Friday’s US close buy Google shares at $528.30
As of Friday’s US close sell Google shares at $528.30