Late last week, Apple and Motorola announced a settlement agreement regarding the patent lawsuits between them. Today, a report from Korea suggests Apple is on track to do the same with bitter rival Samsung. Together, the change in tone from Apple over smartphone patents suggests the company is ready to move forward and focus once again on innovation.
The news from Apple and Motorola came as a surprise. Motorola accused Apple of infringing several smartphone patents back in 2010. One of the patents was considered standard essential, covering how cellphones work on 3G networks. Apple responded with a lawsuit of its own, and the cases were eventually combined and heard in Chicago's court system. In 2012, the judge overseeing the cases summarily dismissed them, claiming neither company could prove it had been harmed. That case was revived by a court of appeals just weeks before the settlement was announced on May 16.
Apple and Motorola, it appears, came to their senses and put an end to all current and pending patent litigation between them. Motorola is currently owned by Google but is in the process of being sold to Lenovo. Many saw Apple's attacks against Motorola as indirect attacks on Google's Android operating system, which the late Steve Jobs famously claimed was a "stolen product."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies did say they won't sign a cross-licensing agreement, but they will work together on patent reform. Details about exactly what "patent reform" means were not provided.
To read the full story, go to EE Times sister publication, Information Week.