Apple and Google have agreed to settle all patent litigation between them over smartphones and work together on patent reforms.
Google and Apple informed a federal appeals court in Washington that their cases against each other should be dismissed, according to filings on Friday, though in a joint statement the companies said the settlement does not include a cross license to their respective patents.
The cases were between Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit, which the search giant acquired in 2012 for $12.5bn, though it announced earlier this year it was selling the handset part of the business to Chinese smartphone maker Lenovo while keeping the vast majority of the patents.
“Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies,” the statement said. “Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. The agreement does not include a cross licence.”
Apple has battled Google and what once were the largest adopters of its Android mobile software, partly to try to curb the rapid expansion of the free, rival operating system, but it has been unable to slow Android's ascendancy, which is now installed on an estimated 80 per cent of new phones sold every year.
The most high-profile case between Apple and Motorola began in 2010 when the firm that pioneered mobile phone use in the USA accused Apple of infringing several patents, including one essential to how mobiles operate on a 3G network, while Apple said Motorola violated its patents to certain smartphone features.
The cases were consolidated in a Chicago federal court, but Judge Richard Posner dismissed it in 2012 shortly before trial, saying neither company had sufficient evidence to prove its case. Last month, the appeals court gave the iPhone manufacturer another chance to win a sales ban against Motorola.
Apple's biggest victory against Android came against Samsung, where US juries have awarded Apple more than $1bn in damages. Those verdicts are on appeal and the settlement announced last week deal does not apply to Apple's litigation against its South Korean rival.