Did you hear? Apple finally settled its patent disputes with HTC, and both companies can now move on. In fact, both companies signed a 10-year license agreement that allows the two to share any present and future patents between them. It's sounds like a good deal, but it's already causing problems for Apple.
The Atlantic Wire reports that a judge has ordered Apple to hand over the details of its HTC deal to Samsung. The deal contained a 10-year licensing agreement, but the details of that agreement have not been made public. That being said, it's assumed that the agreement covered patents that Apple is currently suing Samsung over. It's this agreement that's key to Samsung's defense.
How so? Apple is arguing that it has an exclusive right to the patents in the Samsung trial. If Apple wins, it would allow the company to go through with an injunction against Samsung's products. The HTC deal, however, may contain the very patents that Apple claims to have exclusive rights to. If that's the case, Samsung has just proven that Apple is willing to license these "exclusive" patents in exchange for money. This would effectively halt any prospective product ban, and force Apple into a settlement.
Of course, Apple isn't taking this too well. Upon the order to hand over the details of its HTC deal, the company added a whole new range of Samsung products to its ban list. The previous ban list only contained older products, but Apple is now going after everything. The new list contains the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Rugby Pro and the Galaxy S III Mini.
It could just be a knee-jerk reaction on the part of Apple, but it could also horribly backfire for Samsung as it attempts to wring a settlement out of Apple. Either way, this isn't going to be pretty. Apple and Samsung will be back in court on December 6. We'll be sure to bring you all the latest updates as they happen.