HTC and Apple settle patent issues, enter 10-year deal

Apple and HTC have signed a 10-year licensing deal that puts all their current lawsuits behind them.

This is more like it. Apple and HTC have kissed and made up, and put behind them all the lawsuits they've been slapping each other with.

Not only that, they've announced a deal that will let them license patents off each other for the next 10 years, so we shouldn't see any more court cases between them for a while. Way to go, guys. Now how about Apple and Samsung try something similar?

Apple and HTC have been ploughing through a series of patent disputes over the last two years, since about the same time Apple's legal wrangles started with Samsung -- but now that's all behind them. Over the next ten years, Apple and HTC will enjoy a joint licensing agreement for all current and future patents. Financial terms of the deal will stay confidential.

The two companies punted out a joint -- if brief -- statement on the matter. "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's CEO Tim Cook added: "We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC. We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation."

Apple filed a complaint against HTC in March 2010, accusing it of violating ten of its patents. HTC accused Apple of patent infringement two months later. Apple seemed to be winning, with HTC being found guilty of infringing two of its patents in 2011, and then one for 'data tapping' later that year. The feature was removed from all HTC handsets. Apple's attempt at banning HTC's mobiles from the US was less successful though.

It's good to see companies getting on for once, and it's especially satisfying to see Apple playing nice, considering how it's been lambasted by judges in the past for its dealings with Samsung.

Whether Apple will ever be able to get along with Samsung is a different matter. What do you think? Could this be the start of a friendlier Apple? Let me know in the comments below, or over on Facebook.

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