Apple and Google settle smartphone patent dispute

Apple and Google have announced that the high-profile legal dispute between the two tech giants in relation to their respective smartphone patents has now been settled.

A joint statement was issued on Friday 16th May confirming that the row had come to an end, but a cross licence to the companies' respective patents will not be included.

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Meanwhile, both Apple and Google confirmed as part of the settlement that they will work together in "some areas of patent reform" going forward.

The legal row erupted in 2010 when Motorola sued Apple over the alleged infringement of patents relating to smartphone technology, with Apple issuing a counter-lawsuit.

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Google entered the dispute in 2012 after it acquired Motorola Mobility, with Apple and a number of Android phone manufacturers filing dozens of cases against each other.

Earlier this year, however, Google announced it was offloading Motorola Mobility to Lenovo in a deal worth $2.91bn. But Google will retain a large number of the patents.

Back in 2012, a survey for The Guardian revealed that Android had overtaken Apple's iOS system as the leading smartphone operating system in the UK smartphone market.

It's now estimated that 80% of all new phones sold each year run on Android, thanks in part to the plethora of low-cost Android phones.

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by Pete Hayman

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Pete was content editor on What Hi-Fi?, overseeing production and publication of digital content. In creating and curating feature articles for web and print consumption, he provided digital and editorial expertise and support to help reposition What Hi-Fi? as a ‘digital-first’ title; reflecting the contemporary media trends. He is now a senior content strategist.