Apple settles patent dispute with WiLAN

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Apple has settled its long-running dispute with patent licensing firm WiLAN and entered into a new licensing agreement with the company.

WiLAN, which purchases patents relating to mobile communications and other areas of technology in a bid to commercialise them through licensing agreements, has been involved in several disputes with Apple since the launch of the first iPhone.

In this instance, WiLAN alleged that the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 infringed its intellectual property relating to the 4G standard – the iPhone 5 was the first Apple smartphone to be compatible with LTE.

iPhone Broadcom retrial

In 2018, WiLAN emerged victorious in the courts, winning a ruling that Apple must pay a $145 million settlement. 

The dispute continued with Apple then ordered to pay $85 million in damages following a retrial.

The dispute will now be resolved in a new trial, while Linn has also called for a trial to determine whether a third patent was infringed.

Broadcom specialises in wireless communication chips for smartphones and other devices and Apple is one of the firm’s biggest customers.

With the verdict likely to be subject to an appeal and the saga looking to continue for some time to come, the two firms have no entered into a settlement that ends their battle for now.

“The Agreement also includes the settlement and dismissal of all litigation pending between WiLAN and Polaris and Apple in the United States, Canada and Germany,” said WiLAN’s parent firm Quarterhill.

Such disagreements between vendors and patent holders are common in the mobile industry, with causes for grievance ranging from infringement to the incorrect calculation of royalties.

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Andy Rixon

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