Apple and Google settle patent legal battle as Samsung and Apple look to next generation technology

By Graeme Burton
19 May 2014 View Comments
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Apple and Google have brought to an end their legal battle over mobile operating systems after each agreeing to dismiss lawsuits brought against the other.

In a joint statement, the two companies said that instead they would work together to reform certain areas of US patent law. However, the deal between the two technology giants stopped short of a cross-licensing agreement, and Apple's legal action against Samsung, its main rival in handset sales, will continue.

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Earlier this month, a court on Apple's home turf in California ordered Samsung to pay Apple just under $120m (£70m) in compensation after finding that it had infringed two Apple patents. The court also found that Apple had infringed Samsung patents, but awarded just $158,000 in damages against Apple.

The agreement comes as Apple and Samsung shift their rivalry to the acquisition and filing of patents that may be valuable in next-generation mobile technology - not just smartphones, but also wearables and other mobile devices.

In particular, the two companies are rushing to file patents relating to graphene, a transparent, but conductive, material that will be used in thinner, stronger mobile technology in the future.

A UK Intellectual Property Office report in 2013 revealed that Samsung had filed 405 applications for graphene, while in the US, it has 38 patents and 17 applications involving graphene.

Graphene is a single layer of graphite in which the atoms bond tightly in a hexagonal lattice. It is strong, flexible and conductive.

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