Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) seems to be in patent battles with most of the balance of the smartphone and tablet industries and those that supply parts to them. Apple's most recent victories have come over its arch rival Samsung.

One of Apple's longest running IP suits has finally ended. Crippled Taiwan smartphone company has settled a group of disputes with the world's largest company by market cap.

The firms announced:

HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

"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.

"We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC," said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. "We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation."

As a practical matter, the settlement comes too late for HTC which has posted falling sales for the last two quarters. It was considered a formidable opponent to Apple and Samsung just a year ago. Now, the firms are never mentioned in the same breath.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Law Tagged: AAPL, featured

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