In an unexpected move, Apple and HTC have both announced that they have settled all their outstanding patent litigation.
Under the terms of the settlement, all outstanding litigation will be dismissed and there would be a 10-year cross-licensing deal that covers current and future patents held by each company. The settlement now allows HTC to use slide to unlock, universal search, and other disputed features that will continue to be unavailable to Samsung.
Specific details on the settlement are vague, but a HTC representative reportedy said "that the company "does not expect this license agreement to have any adverse material impact on the financials of the company". Others speculate that given Apple's dominant position and the fact that it holds thousands of patents as opposed to HTC's mere hundreds, HTC must have agreed to pay Apple a royalty for every Android device it sells.
It pays to remember that HTC, along with Samsung, is already paying Microsoft a royalty for every Android phone it sells, and that the figure is believed to be around $5 to $10 for every phone. Add this to the royalties that it now has to pay Apple, it is worth considering if HTC will still able to sell phones at a profit.
Additionally, reports also suggest that Apple will use this as ammunition in its ongoing patent litigation with Samsung.