Apple and Google Settle Patent Dispute
Published on: 17th May 2014
Apple and Google have settled a long running patent battle and said that they will now work together on some areas of patent reform.
The lawsuits date back to October 2010, and cover mobile technology patents used in Apple's iPhone and Google backed Android phones made by Motorola Mobility, now a Google subsidiary that is also now being sold to China's Lenovo.
Apple and Google jointly informed a federal appeals court that the cases should be dismissed, according to filings submitted on Friday.
However, while they have agreed to drop their lawsuits, they haven't actually licensed the patents to each other yet, leading to the possibility of future action if they can't agree on licensing terms.
The dismissal notice does allow for future lawsuits to be submitted on these patents.
Apple is still suing Samsung for infringing the same patents.
Tech firms are coming under increasing pressure to drop the lawsuits that have bedeviled the industry in recent years, while they are themselves calling for patent reform from politicians.
This particular case was not expected to have lead to any significant victories for either side though, as they are minor patents and a previous trial had already thrown out most of their arguments.
As such, it is more symbolic than practical, but could herald a better long term era of cooperation between the tech giants.