HTC and Apple Settle Patent Dispute

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In a joint press release, HTC and Apple have announced that both companies have reached a global settlement, agreeing to dismiss all pending patent litigation between them and enter a ten-year license agreement that extends current and future patents held by both parties.

The terms of the settlement are confidential; but both parties appear optimistic, as Peter Chou CEO of HTC went on to say, “HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation”. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO also reiterated the point saying, “We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC. We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”

According to analysts at Sterne Agee, the estimated cost of the licensing fee is expected to rest somewhere between $6-8 per phone for HTC. This would equate to roughly $180-280 million in annual revenue for Apple, given that HTC is projected to ship somewhere between 30-35 million smartphones in 2013.

While HTC will be paying a pretty penny, it won’t be without its rewards. With the settlement now in place, HTC will be able to use slide to unlock, universal search, and other disputed features in future devices that remain unavailable to Samsung.

The amicable resolution between these two companies may hint at a softer Apple. Under the leadership of Steve Jobs there was no room for compromise, but it appears his replacement Tim Cook wants to be more flexible.  

Does this offer the possibility for a similar solution between Samsung and Apple in their ongoing litigation? Only time will tell. 

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