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Apple, HTC settle smartphone patent fight

Well, thats one less international patent dispute to have to keep track of.

Apple and HTC announced Saturday that they have buried the hatchet, legally speaking, in all of their patent disputes. The two sides inked a ten-year license agreement which covers current and future patents held by both companies. Other details of the settlementsuch as how much money is changing handswerent disclosed.

Both companies struck a conciliatoryand similar-sounding notein statements posted on Apples website.

We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC, said Apple CEO Tim Cook said. We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.

HTCs Peter Chou also said his company was pleased have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation.

Saturdays settlement ends a dispute that began more than two-and-a-half years ago when Apple filed a patent infringement suit against HTC. HTC countered with its own complaint, and Apple added a complaint, and on things went until Saturdays agreement brought the matter to a close.

HTC and Apple had been dueling over the technology behind smartphones, an increasingly popular pastime among technology companies these days. With the market for smartphones growingits expected to be a $150 billion business worldwide in two yearsa number of powerful players including Apple, Google, and Microsoft, are jostling for their share of sales.

By settling their patent differences, HTC and Apple avoid the high-profile legal showdown that Apple faced against electronics giant Samsung earlier this year. Apple won a $1.05 billion judgment against Samsung in the U.S.Samsung is appealing that verdictwhile both companies have scored legal victories in other countries.

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