Bloomberg News has reported that Apple Inc. and Google Inc. have declared a cease-fire in their intellectual-property wars. The two companies have filed about 20 lawsuits against each other in the U.S. and Europe and compete fiercely on many technology fronts.
A Santa Clara University School of Law professor, Brian Love, said that according to Bloomberg News, “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.” This agreement signals a de-escalation in hostilities between the two companies.
In a joint statement the two companies reported that, “Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies,” and that “Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. The agreement does not include a cross license,” according to Bloomberg News.
Thomas Dunham, Jury foreman, a retired International Business Machines Corp. executive, said that jurors took note when Apple presented evidence that showed Samsung had a confidential agreement for Google to pay some of the defense costs and liability for patents related to Android, as well as to have some control over the litigation. Most of Google’s profits are derived from Ad Words.
Apple Inc.’s iOS software and Google Inc.’s Android power the majority of the world’s smartphones and tablets and both are seeking to keep their pre-eminent positions in those growing markets. Bloomberg has reported that the companies are also fighting each other in areas including mobile maps and online music, among other products. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had declared a “thermonuclear war” on Google after it introduced its Android software in 2008.
The suits being dismissed involve patent disputes regarding Google’s Motorola Mobility handset unit. But the deal does not include Apple Inc.’s patent battles with Samsung which uses Google’s Android software for mobile devices.
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