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Some details revealed in HTC-Apple patent settlement

updated 06:19 pm EST, Wed November 21, 2012

Both companies agree to provide redacted document to Samsung

Details from the Apple and HTC settlement agreement that ended the patent wars between the pair have started to trickle out. The agreement is governed by California law, HTC affiliate Via Technologies is included in the agreement, and most interestingly, if one company has a change of control by way of purchase or hostile takeover, the action is null and void -- allowing the patents to be reasserted by either party.

Other sections of the leaked document are heavily redacted. There is no clear indication if Apple has reserved certain patents exclusively, and there is also no declaration that all of both Apple's and HTC's patent portfolios are included. Presumably, there are reserved patents, as Apple and HTC have both agreed to let Samsung view the entire contract between the manufacturers with no argument it asked for in Judge Lucy Koh's court with the exception of 33 redacted words. Despite the willingness to reveal the contract, Samsung still wishes to see the 33 words, and is fighting to do so.

All global claims have been dismissed without prejudice, leaving open the possibility of future reassertion. The dismissal terms are likely by Apple's request, as it is unlikely that Apple will be purchased by a larger manufacturer any time soon, but HTC could be a target for takeover. Should HTC be purchased, protections offered by the agreement are only extended to the new company if Apple agrees that it should be. Practically, should someone like Samsung buy HTC in an effort to end its own battle with Cupertino, the purchaser would not be covered by the agreement.

by MacNN Staff



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