Apple And HTC Call Truce In Patent Wars… For Now
For now, a (smaller) front in the never-ending patent war between tech titans has gone quiet. This week, Taiwanese manufacturer HTC and Apple signed an 10-year licensing agreement covering current and future patents.
In an issued statement, the CEOs of both companies sounded happy, and emphasized how the lawsuits were a distraction from their real work:
“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.”
For many in the the tech sector, however, patent lawsuits have become a way of business. As a recent Village Voice cover article points out, the average smartphone is covered by about 250,000 patents, which gives you an idea why Google recently spent $12.5 billion to buy 17,000 patents. Companies specializing in “trolling” have been established just buy patents and sue companies for infringing on them. A federal judge recently excoriated tech companies for their unnecessary litigation.
Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft continue to battle each other. But maybe they will learn from the HTC/Apple deal, and be reminded that this isn’t their real line of work.