Apple, Google Drop Patent Lawsuits
Apple and Google have dropped their existing patent lawsuits this week. The agreement brings to an end a small but notable front in the patent wars waged by tech companies in the US and around the world.
“Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies,” the two companies said in a joint statement. “Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform.”
Both companies have urged Congress to make it more difficult to bring about patent lawsuits, though Google has been more aggressive in that push.
However, the settlement does not include an cross licensing agreement, meaning the issue of how or if the companies will pay to use each others technology is still unresolved.
Apple and Google were not major competitors until Google introduced their Android operating system in 2002. Now, most of the smartphones and tablets in the world run either on Android or Apple’s iOS.
There were no direct patent lawsuits between the companies until 2012, when Google bought Motorola Mobility, largely for its thousands of patents (Google later sold the manufacturing portion to Lenovo).
But the major lawsuit battle in the industry is between Apple and Samsung, the number one manufacturer of Android devices. While not directly involved, Google is often mentioned in those cases; it was recently revealed that Google had agreed to pay some of Samsung’s legal fees.