Apple & Google settle long-running patent war

Apple and Google call ceasefire over tech giant courtroom battles


Apple and Google have settled their long-running patent differences with an out of court settlement.

The two companies released a joint statement on the matter, stating that - although they may have settled over the disputes regarding smartphone technology - the deal does not include cross-licensing of their patents.

The agreement covers Apple's litigation against Motorola, which sued the former for patent infringement in 2010 before being bought up by Google for $12.5 billion (7.4 billion) in 2012. Apple countersued Motorola and so Google inherited the court case, using its newly-acquired portfolio of patents to defend itself.

The courtroom battle between Apple and Google has been vitriolic. The former company's late co-founder Steve Jobs famously said he would use his "last dying breath" to "destroy Android." Jobs also declared what he called "thermonuclear war" against Google.

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An Apple spokeswoman said the deal does not affect its ongoing court battle with Samsung, with the news coming just weeks after a Californian jury awarded Apple $119.6 million (70 million) in damages against the South Korean firm.

The warring firms' CEO, Tim Cook and Larry Page, apparently held clandestine talks in 2012 to bring a halt to the courtroom disputes, yet they continued unabated. Apple has refused to attack Google directly, however, instead targeting phone makers that use Google's Android operating system.

Although Google has settled things with Cupertino, it still faces litigation from the Rockstar Consortium, part owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry and Sony. The "patent troll" group is utilising the portfolio it acquired from buying up Nortel Networks in 2011 to attack Google and Android manufacturers in court.

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