Smartphone manufacturer HTC and Apple Inc. announced Saturday a settlement ending the first major battle over software patents between the technology giants.
Along with a global patent settlement, the two companies announced they’d signed a 10-year license agreement that will extend to current and future patents held by one other.
Apple and HTC had battled patents over various smartphone features since March 2010.
The Cupertino-based firm accused HTC phones that run on Google’s Android software of infringing on its patents.
HTC chief executive Peter Chou says ending the litigation will allow his company to focus more on product innovation.
HTC has grown as the first maker of phones running on Android software.
But its sales faltered from the second half of 2011 in a market increasingly divided between Apple and Samsung Electronics Co.
Over the last year a patent war has engulfed smartphone competitors including Samsung and Google’s Motorola.
This August Apple won a $1.05 million victory against Samsung and continues litigation against Motorola.
Most of Apple’s legal success has come in the battle against HTC as far as stymying the entry of products to the U.S. market.
In 2011 the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that HTC infringed on one of four patents Apple had disputed and imposed a sales ban on some of the Taiwanese maker’s phones.
HTC claimed it had devised a technical workaround to Apple’s patents, but then in May the company announced that shipments of its phones were halted by U.S. customs officials.
Competition from Apple and Samsung has badly hurt HTC’s grip on a market it was once a powerhouse player in.
Last month the company forecast a 14.5 percent fall in revenue in the fourth quarter from the third, worse than analyst forecasts and the second straight quarterly decline this year.