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Without Jobs, 'Kinder, Gentler' Apple Settles Patent Suits with HTC

November 13, 2012 - News

Apple is showing its softer side after calling a truce with HTC over copyright lawsuits filed over the past couple of years.

A new settlement includes a 10-year licensing agreement granting rights to current and future patents held by Apple and HTC, an article by The New York Times revealed. This is the first settlement between Android makers and Apple, and a Yankee Group analyst said that this could be due to Apple's new CEO.

“Believe it or not (and you’ll find many who will try to convince you otherwise), what you are seeing is the new, kinder, gentler Apple," noted Yankee Group research VP Carl Howe.

"I’ve been saying for quite a while that for as long as Tim Cook has been CEO, Apple has been less interested in pursuing legal assaults against competitors, choosing increasingly to find ways to settle differences out of court," Howe added.

He also said that since Cook has been CEO, Apple has not instigated any new IP lawsuits, showing that Cook has been "focusing more on winning in the market, not in court."

After the iPhone was introduced in 2007, the late Steve Jobs filed more than 200 patents to protect its design, Howe said, but many pending court cases are not about Apple's core technologies, and the company has tended to settle those.

"I think this settlement indicates a softening of Apple’s legal thrusts, but it’s one that started more than a year ago," Howe added. "Most just haven’t noticed it until now."

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