from the about-freaking-time dept
Apple and Google have been fighting a long patent battle, often by proxy, over smartphones. It’s long been known that Steve Jobs — a guy who once said: “Picasso had a saying: ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal.’ We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas” — was absolutely furious that Android smart phones looked so much like the iPhone. That resulted in a series of patent battles that have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees for lots of different companies. That money could have gone towards greater innovation and competing in the marketplace, but instead it went to lawyers.
In a surprise late Friday announcement, the two companies now claim they’ve settled all patent lawsuits directly between the two and will work together on patent reform (hmm…). They also note that “the agreement does not include a cross license.” That last point is important, because it actually means that Apple’s other lawsuits against Android device makers, such as Samsung, will continue.
This isn’t a complete end to the smartphone patent wars, but it’s at least a first step — and hopefully a recognition on Apple’s part that just suing everyone for patent infringement isn’t, perhaps, the smartest strategy.