Apple ordered to release HTC deal details

Updated 23 November 2012
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Apple ordered to release HTC deal details

SAN FRANCISCO: A US judge has ordered Apple Inc. to disclose to rival Samsung Electronics details of a legal settlement the iPhone maker reached with Taiwan’s HTC Corp, including terms of a 10-year patents licensing agreement.
The Korean electronics giant had earlier filed a motion to compel its US rival — with whom it is waging a bitter legal battle over mobile patents across several countries — to reveal details of the settlement that was reached on Nov. 10 with HTC but which have been kept under wraps.
In August, the iPhone maker won a $ 1.05 billion verdict against Samsung after a US jury found that certain Samsung gadgets violated Apple’s software and design patents.
Now, legal experts say the question of which patents are covered by the Apple-HTC settlement, and licensing details, could be instrumental in Samsung’s efforts to thwart Apple’s subsequent quest for a permanent sales ban on its products.
The Asian company has argued it is “almost certain” that the HTC deal covers some of the same patents involved in its own litigation with Apple.
The court on Wednesday ordered Apple to produce a full copy of the settlement agreement “without delay,” subject to an Attorneys-Eyes-Only designation. Representatives for the US company could not immediately be reached for comment.
Samsung also requested the California court to add three newly released Apple products — the iPod Touch 5, the iPad 4 and the iPad mini — to the list of devices that it claims to have infringed on some of its patents, according to court documents.
The settlement of Apple and HTC ended their worldwide litigation and brought to a close one of the first major flare-ups in the global smartphone patent wars.
Apple first sued HTC in 2010, setting in motion a legal conflagration that has since circled the globe and engulfed the biggest names in mobile technology, from Samsung to Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit.


OPEC allies including Russia back output hike: Angola

Updated 10 min 21 sec ago
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OPEC allies including Russia back output hike: Angola

VIENNA: Russia on Saturday joined partner countries in backing an OPEC-led pledge to boost oil production in response to growing global demand, Angolan Oil Minister Diamantino Azevedo said.
“We have agreed,” Azevedo told reporters after a meeting with OPEC ministers and 10 non-OPEC partner countries in Vienna.
The green light was widely expected after energy ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries already agreed on Friday to raise output by one million barrels a day.
The proposal is the result of a face-saving compromise hammered out after days of tense talks in Vienna dominated by Iran’s resistance to easing an 18-month-old supply-cut deal that has lifted oil prices to multi-year highs.
Saudi Arabia, supported by Russia, was strongly in favor of pumping more oil to ease fears of a supply crunch and quiet grumbles about the higher prices in major consumer countries like the United States, China and India.
But Iran, bracing for the impact of fresh US sanctions on its oil exports, fiercely objected to raising output targets, as did countries like crisis-hit Venezuela and Iraq who are unable to raise output in the near term.
In the end, a vaguely-worded statement that made no mention of the one-million figure allowed all sides to save face.
Ministers also acknowledged that production problems in several countries meant the real number of extra barrels coming to the market would be several hundred thousand less.
Markets were disappointed with the modest output hike, sending crude prices soaring on Friday.
Brent crude added $2.50 to finish at $75.55 a barrel, while the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate gained $3.04 at $68.58 per barrel.