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HTC and Apple won't say who won

Editorial Staff

We're going to have to wait for regulatory filings, leaks or careless whispers to find out exactly what's happened. But there's what seems to be good news from the warzone where Apple and HTC have been butting heads.

Samsung may not be as cool as Apple (at least in the eyes of a UK judge) nor Apple as clever as Samsung (in the eyes of consumers who are not primarily fashion victims) but the truth is that, like a shark and a pilot fish, they have a symbiotic relationship from which both benefit more than they suffer.

So do HTC and Apple. HTC has an enormous market share in the smartphone market. If Samsung is a threat to the iPad, HTC is a threat to the iPhone.

The two companies have been locking horns all around the world: each suing the other for intellectual property infringements, real or imagined. There is at least an argument that some of the actions were designed to stifle competition as much as to enforce legitimate rights.

Someone, somewhere has turned the lights on and realised that it's counter-productive, divisive, brings both companies to the border of being ridiculed (or, often, over it) and harms their reputation with consumers. Consumers expect big boys to play nice, not to threaten to take their ball home every time they look like they are at risk of losing a point.

And so, early this morning, GMT, the companies issued a statement (the HTC statement is below).

Now all we need is someone to bang together the heads of Samsung and Apple.

HTC and Apple Settle Patent Dispute
All Patent Litigation Between The Companies Dismissed

TAIPEI, Taiwan and CUPERTINO, Calif., Nov. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

"HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC.

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