It would seem that the patent wars between Apple and HTC are no more as both camps have released a statement detailing a 10 year settlement between them. This is a monumental development for not just the two companies themselves, but for the legal universe surrounding technology and gadgets on the whole. As for HTC and Apple, they've made it clear that this agreements means they'll be able to focus on product innovation for a long time to come.
The two groups reported from Taipei and Cupertino with news that today, November 11th, 2012 (depending on where you live, of course), they've reached a "global settlement" that will take them both out of battles between one another for a full ten years at least. The agreement they've made will be covering not just current patents, but past and future patents as well. Both HTC and Apple have sent out short comments on the matter as well.
HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license at hand extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
“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."
This agreement was accompanied by a note "All patent litigation between the companies dismissed." Now we've got to wonder if this means that further agreements will be had between titans such as Samsung, LG, Microsoft, and the rest, or if this is simply one perfect storm for the betterment of these two companies. Specific details of the agreement are not (yet) public, but both groups have certainly made it clear that this is a very good thing for the future of device manufacturing and development.
As it's not specified, we must also assume that this agreement fits both software and hardware patents, this possibly leading toward an agreement with Google in the future for their Android mobile operating system that HTC makes use of in their smartphone devices. As it stands, Google and Apple have not made any statement to substantiate such an assumption - stay tuned!