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商业 - 科技

苹果与谷歌专利问题和解:多产品线竞争激烈 关系曾近破裂

Verne Kopytoff 2014年05月21日

这次两家公司放弃诉讼,可能是因为他们意识到再这样纠缠下去并不划算。随着谷歌将摩托罗拉移动出售给联想,双方都没有意向将已经持续多年的诉讼继续下去。

    在漫长的专利纠纷之后,谷歌(Google)与苹果(Apple)最终达成和解。这场两大硅谷巨头在智能手机技术上的诉讼吸引过许多眼球,如今就此告一段落。

    在上周五的联合声明中,双方表示:“苹果和谷歌同意终止双方之间现存的一切直接相关的法律案件。”

    2010年,摩托罗拉移动(Motorola Mobility)率先开战,起诉苹果专利侵权行为。苹果随即反诉还以颜色。科技巨头花费大量资源在法庭上你来我往互相起诉的时代从此拉开序幕。在2012年以125亿美元收购摩托罗拉移动之后,谷歌接手了相关诉讼。随后谷歌同意将该部门以29亿美元的价格出售给中国电脑制造商联想(Lenovo),同时保留摩托罗拉的专利。

    在全球各地,谷歌和苹果的诉讼与反诉讼案件已经有二十余起,曾为同盟的这两家公司之间关系日趋紧张。在移动产品、网络地图、笔记本等几乎所有领域,谷歌和苹果的竞争都在加剧,这让他们的关系趋于破裂,双方的律师忙着在法庭上打官司。

    谷歌称苹果侵犯了他们的专利,试图禁止苹果出售iPhone。苹果则认为谷歌的一部分安卓软件抄袭了iPhone操作系统的创意。

    这次两家公司放弃诉讼,可能是因为他们意识到再这样纠缠下去并不划算。随着谷歌出售摩托罗拉,双方都没有意向将已经持续多年的诉讼继续下去。

    在声明中,两家公司表示他们会在专利改革的一些领域进行合作。硅谷巨头们尽管各为对手,但对专利系统大体都持批评态度,并愿意改进它们,减少“专利流氓”发起的诉讼。专利流氓就是指那些很大程度上依靠专利侵权起诉为生的小公司。

    同时,苹果和谷歌表示,他们并未同意互相授权专利。否则,这就意味着两家竞争对手之间建立了非同寻常的合作。目前,苹果和谷歌共同主导着智能手机市场。苹果通过iPhone做到了这一点,而谷歌则主要依靠安卓操作系统,许多智能手机制造商都需要获得其授权。

    苹果与谷歌的和解协议并不适用于安卓合作伙伴三星(Samsung)。本月早些时候,苹果起诉三星的专利侵权行为获胜,赢得了1.2亿美元的赔偿。(财富中文网)

    译者:严匡正

    Google and Apple have called a truce in a long-running patent dispute, ending a high-profile legal battle between two Silicon Valley titans over smartphone technology.

    "Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies," the two companies said in a joint statement late Friday.

    Google's Motorola Mobility unit started the fight in 2010 by suing Apple for patent infringement. Apple (AAPL) responded by counter suing, ushering in an era in which major technology companies spent huge resources fighting each other in court. Google (GOOG) inherited the lawsuit when it acquired Motorola in 2012 for $12.5 billion. It has since agreed to sell off the unit to Lenovo, the Chinese computer maker, for $2.9 billion while keeping Motorola's patents.

    The lawsuits and counter suits – nearly two dozen in all globally – highlighted the increasing tensions between Google and Apple, which had been allies at one time. But their growing rivalry in everything from mobile devices to online maps to laptop computers left the relationship in tatters and an army of attorneys busy in court.

    Google, arguing that Apple had infringed on its patents, had tried to get injunctions to force Apple to stop selling the iPhone. Apple argued that parts of Google's Android software took their cue from the iPhone's operating system.

    In dropping the suits, the companies may have simply come to the conclusion that it was no longer worth the bother. With Google selling Motorola, neither side had much of an incentive for years of further litigation.

    In the statement, the two companies said they would work together in some areas of patent reform. Big Silicon Valley companies, despite their rivalries, are largely united in their critique of the patent system and the desire to change it to reduce lawsuits by so-called patent trolls – small companies whose livelihood is largely from pursuing patent infringement claims.

    Apple and Google said they had not agreed to cross-license their patents to each other. If they had, it would have been a sign of unusual cooperation between two rivals. Apple and Google, together, dominate the smartphone market. Apple does so with its iPhone while Google's power lies mostly in its operating system, which it licenses to a number of mobile phone manufacturers.

    Apple's agreement to make nice with Google does not extend to Samsung, a Google Android partner. Earlier this month, Apple received a $120 million judgment against Samsung for patent infringement.

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