ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Michael Finneran
Michael F. Finneran, President of dBrn Associates, Inc. is a consultant and industry analyst specializing in wireless, mobile unified communications,...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Michael Finneran | November 12, 2012 |

 
   

Apple and HTC Sign 10-Year Patent Accord

Apple and HTC Sign 10-Year Patent Accord Perhaps we're finally seeing the beginnings of a truce that will put an end to the intellectual property distraction that has plagued the smartphone industry.

Perhaps we're finally seeing the beginnings of a truce that will put an end to the intellectual property distraction that has plagued the smartphone industry.

Apple and Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC announced Saturday that the two companies agreed to a 10-year license agreement for current and future patents held by both parties, and would dismiss a series of lawsuits they had filed against each other over the past 2+ years; financial details of the agreement were not released. So while the much larger battle between Apple and Samsung continues, perhaps we are finally seeing the beginnings of a truce of sorts that will put an end to the intellectual property distraction that has plagued the smartphone industry longer than most of us care to remember.

Clearly Samsung is a much bigger issue than HTC. Apple was awarded a $1.05 billion settlement against Samsung back in August (though the latter is still contesting the ruling). Market analyst Canalys recently pegged Samsung's 3Q 2012 share of the worldwide smartphone market at 32% to Apple's 15.5% and HTC's 4.8%; Sony came in third at 5.1%.

However, there's more than market share numbers in play here. Steve Jobs's biographer, Walter Isaacson, describes Jobs erupting in fury the week Apple filed the suit against HTC and vowing, "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product".

The lack of financial details disclosed about the Apple-HTC settlement makes it difficult to determine the scale of the impact on either company. During the Apple-Samsung trial, it was disclosed that Apple had apparently been offering Samsung the option to pay $24 per smartphone and $32 per tablet for use of its intellectual property. Given that royalty rates are based on "what you've got to trade," it's impossible to say what the arrangement between Apple and HTC might be.

The peculiar thing about this is that Apple's real beef is with Google, but lawyers say Apple will have an easier time suing the handset manufacturers, as Google's direct revenue stream from Android is essentially zero.

In any event, at least this should be one less IPR (intellectual property rights) battle we'll have to track, and hopefully the start of a trend that will get IPR cases out of the news. Maybe then manufacturers will be able to predict their costs more accurately, and we can get back to focusing on how these wonderful technologies can impact peoples' lives.



COMMENTS


Who's Who at Enterprise Connect

NEC

Featured This Week:
Sponsored By


April 24, 2014
Small centers are both excited and nervous about the new wave of innovation converging on them as major disruptive forces - cloud, mobile, big data and social - rock the contact center world. They rea...
April 9, 2014
Recent advances in cloud technology have given rise to wide variety of new tools designed to support contact center performance, staffing and reporting. Join us for a live webinar focused on helping c...
March 26, 2014
As more organizations are focused on maximizing customer experience as a key differentiator to stay ahead of the competition and customer expectations, the focus needs to be on interactions across mul...

Sign up to the No Jitter email newsletters

  • Catch up with the blogs, features and columns from No Jitter, the online community for the IP communications industry. Each Thursday, we'll send you a synopsis of the high-impact articles, podcasts and other material posted to No Jitter that week, with links for quick access.

  • A quick hit of original analysis by the experts who bring you Enterprise Connect, the leading event in Enterprise Communications & Collaboration. Each Wednesday, this enewsletter delivers to your email box a thought-provoking, objective take on the latest news and trends in the industry.

Your email address is required for membership. For details about the user information, please read the UBM Privacy Statement

As an added benefit, would you like to receive relevant 3rd party offers about new products/services and discounted offers via email? Yes

* = Required Field

No longer instrested? Unsubscribe here.