Last week, HTC and Apple sort of shocked us all when they announced that they have agreed on a 10-year licensing agreement that will throw out all of their patent lawsuits. But Apple, nor HTC told us whether that included all of Apple’s patents or not. And Apple has a ton of patents, and just got a few more today.
It’s important to know if all of Apple’s patents are covered under this deal, including all the “user experience” patents because if they are all included, then it could undermine the iPhone makers attempts to permanently ban several devices of Samsung’s. In court today, Samsung asked a US Judge to force Apple to turn over a copy of the Apple-HTC agreement that was sealed last week.
Reuters reached out to both HTC and Apple for comments but neither have responded yet.
As we know already, Judges are a bit more reluctant to ban the sale of a product if the two parties can work out a licensing agreement like what we saw with HTC last week. In order for Apple to score an injunction against the numerous Samsung devices, they must show that copying of its technology has caused irreparable harm and that money is an inadequate remedy by itself.
Now if the Apple-HTC agreement does include all of Apple’s patents that would mean that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has been taking a different approach with these patents than Steve Jobs did. Steve was ready to kill off Android, and did everything he could to do so. Cook has said that he prefers to settle than to litigate but only if the terms are reasonable. Before last week, we had no idea that Apple would settle, and had no idea what their price would be exactly.
Last month, opposing Apple’s injuction request, Samsung stated that Apple’s willingness to license their patents at all shows that money should be sufficient compensation, according to the court documents. Which I’d have to agree with.
So the patent trials continue, hopefully Samsung will settle with Apple, and Apple will hand over their agreement with HTC so we can see what the agreement includes.