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Google and Apple reach peace settlement in smartphone patent wars

Google and Apple have decided to call it quits when it comes to litigation and patent sniping in the smartphone arena, with both companies agreeing that they'll abandon the lawsuits which they've brought against each other.

Specifically, the suits between Cupertino and Motorola Mobility are being dropped. Both firms have had quite a history through the courts, with Apple levelling accusations of copying smartphone features at Motorola, and the latter accusing Cupertino of infringement over Motorola wireless patents, among other matters.

There's no cross-licensing or anything that dramatic which will occur as a result of this deal, but the pair have pledged to work together on patent issues, according to Reuters, declaring: "Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform."

However, this doesn't mean that Apple is dropping its broader litigation war against the purveyors of Android, with Cupertino still intending to pursue Samsung through the courts for patent infringements (as it has also been doing for a long time, now). Indeed, it could be argued that Apple has taken this step as it doesn't see Motorola as that much of a threat any more – though the company's budget phones have sparked much interest of late.

As you're doubtless aware, Google has sold its Motorola phone business to Lenovo (for $2.9 billion, or £1.7 billion), but Mountain View is keeping most of Motorola Mobility's patents as part of its war chest to defend Android. Indeed, one of the major reasons Google snapped up Motorola in the first place was due to that armoury of patents.