Apple-HTC settlement now public but heavily redacted

December 6, 2012
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In case you forgot, Apple and Samsung are about to face each other in U.S. courts again in a new episode of the first lawsuit between the two companies in the country. Earlier this summer Apple was awarded a favorable verdict, with the jury saying that Samsung has to pay $1.05 billion in damages to the iPhone maker.

Both parties are contesting the verdict, and want that number changed, with Apple also asking for various product bans for Samsung Android devices. The December 6 hearing presided by Judge Lucy Koh should offer us more details regarding this first patent fight between giants.

And it’s because Apple and Samsung are going to fight each other in appeals that we get to learn more details about the recently inked Apple-HTC settlement. Samsung has asked the court to be granted access to the contents of the sealed document, probably in order to prove that a sales ban against several of its Galaxy devices in the USA is not warranted.

The court said Samsung will be allowed to see the document right alongside the general public, although sensitive parts of the settlement, such as licensing fees, would only be available to Samsung lawyers.

Now the 140-page deal between Apple and HTC is available to the public, with various parts of it being heavily redacted, so we can’t share with you all the interesting parts.

Apple and HTC have settled their patent-based fight a few weeks ago, with the two companies entering a complex, but secret, 10-year licensing agreement.

From the looks of it, it appears that only HTC is paying some sort of licensing fee to Apple, although the sums remain undisclosed for now. Furthermore, the document reveals that Apple is licensing software and hardware patents to HTC, but it’s not sharing its design patents and trade dress.

The document apparently has anti-cloning provisions that stipulate that HTC can’t clone the “Distinctive Apple User Experience,” which means that the Taiwanese Android device maker can use “Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent to provide similar functionality, for example, but it can’t look like the iPhone’s feature or HTC would be guilty of cloning,” as The Verge puts it.

We’ll be back with more details from the Apple vs Samsung confrontation set to take place later today, in Judge Koh’s court.

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