Agreement ends current lawsuits; license covers current and future patents for 10 years

Apple and HTC this evening in a joint statement announced they've settled their patent dispute and have agreed to a 10-year license of current and future patents. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Here's the joint statement, released by HTC and Apple:

TAIPEI, Taiwan and CUPERTINO, California—November 10, 2012—HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

“HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC. 

“We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.” 

The licensing deal covers all of HTC's products, company spokesman Jeff Gordon told Android Central this evening, which includes Android as well as its current Windows Phone stable. Gordon also said that "we do not expect this license agreement to have an adverse material impact on the financials of the company."

The two companies this year became embroiled in a suit over the method links were displayed to the user, which ultimately led to a temporary ban on the HTC One X for AT&T and its Sprint counterpart, the HTC EVO 4G LTE. That took some of the wind of the sails for those two devices, at least in the smartphone world, even though the EVO 4G LTE only missed its scheduled launch date by a week, and the HTC One X never really disappeared from store shelves. 

The good news for end-users here is that the agreement, at least how it's described in the short statement, should keep HTC out of Apple's crosshairs for the next decade. That doesn't change the fact that HTC's still got some serious work ahead of it

There are 63 comments

filthiestkid says:

Im a htc evo 4g lte owner and apple put my phone on hold to long. Fcuk apple!

DWR_31 says:

Did hell just freeze over?

Tim Cook saying Apple will continue to keep a laser focus on innovation?

mwara244 says:

Tim Cook = Captain Crook

mwara244 says:

Tim Cook = Captain Crook

Innovation from others. Just so they can then sue them of course.

cobrakon says:

What do you mean? Of course they will innovate. They are getting ready to invent NFC on the 5S!

Andrpau says:

Surely you mean Apple Field, the revolutionary new technology from Apples team of skillful innovators.

S_C_B says:

It's about damn time. After 10 years and one day, Apple will be at it again.

P.S. Phil, is AC gonna get the same commenting system as WPCentral? It's so much better.

Ron Morris says:

Apple is a disgusting, patent-trolling, bully. If patents were for actual inventions, and innovations again, and not for decorations and premises, Apple would have nothing.

tuxpower says:

+1 what he said. Apple even pissed off the UK judges by their actions.

byrds8 says:

Apple has nothing as is. One of these days their silly patents will be invalid and all will be right with the world.

still1 says:

Did any money exchange happen between them. I dont want HTC paying Apple for this.
that would be a win for Apple.

tuxpower says:

I'm sure it's either $1 or a certain dollar amount per device, which is typical for this type of agreement.

flashpanda says:

Htc one I. First non Apple iPhone. That would be hilarious.

Shadowriver says:

Well HP sold iPod once you know ;]

icebike says:


Or the first Apple Windows Phone or the first Apple Android phone all made by HTC.

In fact I predict that Apple will buy HTC outright within a year.

I think Apple want's HTC's design people, because Apple's people are out of ideas.
Even Johnathan Ive has expressed displeasure at the Apple UI, and being forced to do stupid things like Glass on both sides of the device. Apple needs new ideas, and HTC is affordable.

mrodx says:

Did Tim Cook and Peter Chou just give a similar statement? Uh oh, someone is gonna get sued.

vinny jr says:

I wouldn't doubt that this went thru because HTC probably is planning on going Windows Mobile instead of Android. Hope I'm wrong because Apple is one pathetic pack of asses that need to spend money on innovation because there current phone is lacking any. The only thing that is new on the I-Phone 5 is the LTE radio which Apple has no rights to. Jim Cook says he wants to stay focused on product innovation, that is the biggest fuc---- joke I heard all week. There hasn't been any innovation since Steve Jobs died.

Small_law says:

This about-face couldn't have anything to do with Apple's recent setbacks in several cases, including the one in which it had to apologize, the other where lost a dispute regarding Facetime, and the big Samsung case where a hearing was just set about the juror accused of bias. Nope, it's a coincidence.

a22matic says:

So does this mean the Apple patents HTC worked around for the One X/EVO LTE will be pushed put to those phones soon?


XxViperNYCxX says:

+2! I would love to be able to click again without having to copy and paste the links on my inbox.

Fraggle79 says:

At least HTC settled. Samsung is retarded. Samsung copied Apple and everyone knows it, but they fight back like an angry woman at a divorce court hearing. Settle and move on, Props to HTC for having dignity.

brendilon says:

Thanks for the lulz.

"Good artists copy, great artists steal." Steve Jobs

OffSpot2 says:

Words of wisdom for kid...

JobiWan144 says:

You mean Steve Jobs quoting Pablo Picasso.


+9000 Samsung should take a page out of HTC's playbook and settle with Apple. In the long run, it would be cheaper and wiser to settle on an agreement than try to fight the same (or similar) cases in courts around the world; regardless of whether you have a case or not.

Y314K says:

Yeah... Why didn't Samsung settle in England... I mean.. Maybe they should still settle... I mean... Just settle... Take the bullies swirlies and nuggies like a champ there Samsung.... Settle... Settle... For the good of Apple settle...

In case u ISheep didn't get it.. Sarcasm.... Which I think is a patented by cRapple...

"I'm told by a reader in the UK that this sanction is the highest there is in the "loser pays" category, that Apple will have to pay for everything the lawyers cost Samsung, not just fees but parking, phone calls, and from day one. Indemnity in the sense that Samsung is to be made whole for being put through all this, I guess."

rsanchez1 says:

OMG, IT'S OVER 9000!

Pretty comical comment. Samsung won't need to settle you fight fire with fire in this game. Samsung is android plain and simple everyone else is second class citizens...

Shadowriver says:

oh boi....

OffSpot2 says:

Technology patents have turned into cartoon network.

rsanchez1 says:

At least Cartoon Network actually makes sense.

Y314K says:

"Gordon also said that "we do not expect this license agreement to have an adverse material impact on the financials of the company."

Yeah.. They are going to take care of impacting adversely in-house by continuing to only release phones like the HTC DNA to a single carrier in the US... There is nothing Apple can do to mess with HTC's financially that is worst then what HTC is already doing to themselves.... Good luck with that HTC... The HTC DNA is the only non Nexus 4 phone that is worth a damn... And u can only get it on Verizon... No thanks...

JobiWan144 says:

I don't know about the HTC Droid DNA being the only good phone that's not the Nexus 4. A 5-inch screen is too big for me and LOTS of other people. If I had to choose one phone to have right now, it would be the One X+. Brilliant screen + updated Tegra 3 + 64 GB storage + Jelly Bean + Sense 4+ = lots of win.

Y314K says:

The One X+ does seem almost as good as the DNA... But just like the DNA... U can only get it on ATT in the US.... It's a another blunder by HTC... I use to love Rosie/Sense... But after the Holo upgrade on stock Android... Rosie just looks to cartoonish... Wish it wasn't so...

Keith Myers says:

The problem is that this may protect HTC's hardware, Apple will still always have their cross-hairs on Android in general, regardless on who makes the phone. Much like courting a Black Widow Spider, if HTC thinks that they are completely out of Apple's scope, then they are mistaken.

Personally I will never be able to purchase from Apple. I cannot support their patent trolling. Maybe if they "laser focused" on Innovation, rather then investing in litigation, they may actually come out with a cutting edge produce.

solarus says:

You are assuming Apple with have the balls to actually sue Google. If they did it would have already happened.

Keith Myers says:

Of course not, this is why Apple is going after Hardware Manufacturers who make Android Phones. Something tells me that 2013 will also involve a lot of Tablet Litigation as well.

solarus says:

Agreed, Well we are all screwed since apparently Apple have the market on rounded corners on phones cornered with their just awarded patent!! ;-)

Fairclough says:

Sorry but I think Nokia's bricks win the round corner war.

Meister_Li says:

This will be a major Advantage for HTC in the coming 10 years. They will be the only manufacturer who doesn't get their devices held up, delayed, modified and sued before they can bring them to market.

rsanchez1 says:

Hey, I was promised pigs were gonna fly. Where are the flying pigs?

msgnyc says:

That came and went a few years ago.
Swine Flu... Be glad you missed it. ;)

ISS2 says:

Well played, lol.

OffSpot2 says:

Get all the kids hooked on cocane, and then suck them dry of all their money.
The drug lords then battle it out on the back streets of mafia for control of
a hooked generation... Welcome to technology...

areed1787 says:

Good news, however from what I have researched and confirmed, HTC in fact holds a particular patent that could have stopped the Iphone 5 from ever hitting HTC holds the true power over Apple.

Fairclough says:

Why does that not surprise me, I reckon this settlement is to save Apple getting sued in the future like Ifones (mexico)

JHBThree says:

No, they don't. If you'll notice, HTC was the only one that made a payment in this settlement.

The only patents HTC has that could do any damage are FRAND encumbered, and the last thing HTC needs is an anti-trust investigation like Samsung or Motorola.

msgnyc says:

"The terms of the settlement are confidential."........
where do you see that anyone paid the other anything o_O?
Please share this knowledge of confidential documents with the rest of the class......

JHBThree says:

Its right in the statement. HTC included a statement on financials. The only reason they would do so is if they were paying apple something.

Expect to see more of this sane, intelligent behavior from Tim Cook. He has a face which strongly suggests good character.

plunder says:

Based on his face? Apple have always used patents to crush other companies. I consider 30 years of history far more significant than Tim's thin weedy face.

Syrential says:

I think Apple is just getting worried about the future, and so is HTC. It'll be very interesting to see whether those two companies will actually survive, history might repeat again for Apple.

Mikey47 says:


Of course I jest, but that would be hilarious.

randyw says:

More like HTC purchased by Apple. HTC is in a bad way and getting worse.

Shadowriver says:

Samsung is a lot biger then HTC, don't forget they not only making mobile devices

ronzkie21 says:

They got those out of the way so they can continue on innovation? Hahaha! Apple stopped innovating a long time ago and so did HTC with their ONE line. Whatever it is they're doing, which I doubt is innovating, is what makes Samsung walk all over them. Don't get me wrong. I love HTC. It just sucks we are let down.

Joey Tam says:

HTC has sold out, will boycott HTC products.

JHBThree says:

Selling out (which they didn't really do) is better than wasting time and money on fighting a lawsuit that you can't win.

This just in.... Samsung buys HTC... well not really, but it could happen :)

Edit: crap someone already made a comment like mine.

Gearu says:

I just noticed huge similarities between the phone manufacturers and the characters from The Mummy:
Imhotep - Apple
Rick - Samsung
Beni - HTC
Evelyn - Motorola
Jonathan - Nokia
Ardeth - Huawei
Dr Terrence Bay - Blackberry

BigTex says:

"Here is why HTC doesn't pay a cent to Apple
Remember those statements from yesterday that HTC has to pay Apple around $6-$8 for each and every Android smartphone they sell? Well it turns out that this was complete bogus. "