Apple and HTC bury the hatchet

Rival smartphone makers Apple and HTC have settled all outstanding disputes over patents

Rival smartphone makers Apple and HTC have settled all outstanding disputes over patents.

The agreement has seen HTC both losing and winning court battles against Apple in just over two-and-a-half years of legal wrangling.

In addition to the global settlement to end more than 20 legal cases, the two firms have signed a 10-year licence agreement that extends to current and future patents held by both parties.

“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.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC. We will continue to stay laser-focused on product innovation.”

Now HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation

Peter Chou, CEO, HTC

The terms of the settlement were confidential, the two companies said in a statement, but industry sources suggested that HTC may have agreed to pay Apple between $5 and $20 per handset it produces with Google's Android operating system, according to the Guardian.

Some analysts have suggested that the deal between Apple and HTC could signal the closing stages of the patent wars in the smartphone market, the paper said.

The deal comes after Apple secured $1bn in damages in its patent battle with Samsung, and amid speculation of a profit warning at HTC.

HTC’s profits have plummeted since September 2011, with quarterly profits for July to September 2012 down 79% compared with the same period a year ago.

Analysts said that unlike Samsung, HTC was not making a handset that looked like Apple’s iPhone, which meant a licensing deal was always a possibility.

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