Apple and Google have agreed to wave the white flag and finally drop all lawsuits between them, including one of the many that threatened the smartphone world, namely patent litigation with Google’s Motorola unit.
Motorola sued Apple for patent infringement back in 2010 and Apple sued them back. This happened before Google even bought Motorola back in 2012 for $12.5 billion. Since then, the Internet giant has sold the company, but it continues to hold onto the thousands of patents which it uses to defend the Android mobile operating system.
Up until Friday, Apple and Google were fighting in court in about 20 lawsuits, some in the United States, and some abroad. While these lawsuits have been dropped, the two companies didn’t exactly agree to license each other’s patents either. However, they did mention, in a joint statement, that they’ll work together to reform the patent laws that are currently in place in the United States, Reuters reports.
The two tech giants have informed a federal appeals court in Washington that the active cases should be dismissed.
While these issues have been chalked up, the lawsuits between Apple and Samsung are not part of the deal, even though they often focuses on features that are directly linked to the Android operating system. Since Samsung is the main manufacturer of Android-based devices, the outcome of the lawsuit will directly impact Google.
Furthermore, another company that is partly owned by Apple, namely Rockstar Consortium is still threatening Google in another case. Rockstar, a joint venture between Apple, BlackBerry, Microsoft, Sony and Ericsson, created to beat Google in a bidding war for Nortel Networks’ patents, has launched a bunch of lawsuits against Google, while also targeting other companies that build Android devices.
There were no words about the future of these lawsuits either, but it’s not expected for them to be pulled down along with the ones that directly involve Apple’s name. Even so, since Apple and Google have vowed to work together on patent reforms, it’s likely that the lawsuits such as the ones started by Rockstar will eventually be dropped.
Rockstar has been dubbed a “patent troll” for all intents and purposes since it simply owns patents and does nothing to put them to use. Basically, it simply goes around suing companies left and right for the single purpose of making money.