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Editorial: HTC And Apple Have Settled, And This Is Basically Good For Everyone

On Saturday evening, HTC and Apple issued a joint press release indicating the two companies had settled their ongoing legal slapfight. Under a confidential 10-year licensing arrangement, they have agreed to what essentially amounts to a rigid patent ceasefire. Even future patents are covered under the deal (there obviously will be exceptions to any deal, but that's the gist).

Immediately, most people assumed HTC was getting hosed. Then, HTC rep Jeff Gordon issued a slightly cryptic but factually vital statement, saying HTC "does not expect this license agreement to have any adverse material impact on the financials of the company."

Now, whether that means the cost of the license and the savings of not keeping 300 attorneys on retainer will cancel out, or if the settlement basically cost HTC nothing, is not clear.

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[The Android Police Week In Review] The Biggest Android Stories Of The Week (11/4/12 - 11/11/12)

Welcome to the Android Police Week In Review - your source for the biggest Android stories of the week. Don't forget, you can catch a lot of these stories (and more) on our weekly podcast.

Features

Product Reviews

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HTC, Apple End Patent Quarrels, Settle On Ten-Year Licensing Deal

It would appear that the patent battle between HTC and Apple, which has been going on since early 2010, is finally closed, with the two companies agreeing to opt for a ten-year licensing agreement.

The dispute began over two years ago when Apple levied a complaint regarding twenty patents at HTC, claiming infringement. Of course after that the two slapped each other with dispute after dispute, and the fight has boiled on ever since.

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[The Android Police Podcast] Episode 35: My Desk Is A Helicopter

Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 34. Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!

Subscribe to the Android Police Podcast:

The Cast

  • Matthew Smith, Host
  • Bob Severns, Editor, A/V
  • Cameron Summerson, Co-host
  • David Ruddock, Co-host
  • Eric Ravenscraft, Co-host
  • Ron Amadeo, Guest

THE OUTLINE

Carrier 411

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Analysis: Apple Got A Design Patent On The Shape Of The iPad, And It Probably Doesn't Matter

Can you patent a shape? That is a question so many media outlets have been asking since Apple's more generic design patents have gotten more legal attention, and unfortunately, it's resulted in a rather severe oversimplification of just what a design patent is, and what it can protect. Yesterday, Wired reported that Apple finally received a long-awaited design patent on the shape of the iPad, a patent which lists none other than Steve Jobs himself as a co-inventor (and, of course, Jonathan Ive).

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UK Judge To Apple: Your Apology Is Bogus, Rewrite It (Or, How Not To Deal With A Court Order)

It seems Apple is getting far more than it bargained for in its failed iPad lawsuit in the UK, having been ordered by a judge there to run statements in both print and on its website clearly stating that Samsung's Galaxy Tab had not copied the company's own tablet. Of course, when Apple ran the apology on its UK website, it was one paragraph of acknowledgement of the judgment, and four paragraphs of reasons why that judgment was stupid, essentially.

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New DMCA Exemptions Allow Rooting Phones (But Not Tablets), Unapproved Phone Unlocks Will Be A Thing Of The Past

Good news, bad news, and really bloody ridiculous news, Android fans. Today, the latest round of DMCA exemptions has been passed and if you've ever jailbroken or rooted a phone, you'll be happy to know that this will continue to be legal. At least, for your phones. If, however, you want to gain su access to your tablet, you're fresh out of luck. Also, phones purchased after January 2013 cannot be legally unlocked for use on a carrier that didn't give you explicit permission.

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Apple's Rubber-Banding Patent Is Invalid - Here's What That Actually Means, And Why It Was Invalidated

In perhaps its soon to be most-publicized decision in decades, FOSS Patents is reporting that the USPTO has issued an initial finding of invalidity on every claim in Apple's patent for "rubber-band scrolling," that is, the scroll bounceback patent which anyone with half a brain knows is about as patent-worthy as any purely aesthetic user interface element is.

The claims were rejected on findings of prior art from two sources - an AOL patent, and a patent previously filed by Apple.

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The Playground Is Open Again: What To Expect From Google's Android Event On October 29th

After seeing a deluge of rumors, leaks, and hoax after hoax this season, it looks like we're finally starting to wind down. With Google's Android event a mere 8 days away, it's time to clear away the muck and take a look at what we expect to make an appearance just a couple days before Halloween. Let's start with the stuff we're most confident in and work our way down, shall we?

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Nexus 10 Tablet Appears In Our Server Logs, Photo EXIF Data - Is This The Official Name Of The "Manta"?

About two weeks ago, we published some clues from our own server logs indicating that there were two as-yet unidentified Nexus devices cruising the web. One, the Occam, is believed to be a phone. That device remains unidentified (it is not, as some speculated, the Nexus 4, which is called "Mako"). Our guess is still that it's a Motorola RAZR Nexus device, but who knows if or when we'll actually see it.

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