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Apple ends 15 years of LTE patent disputes with WiLAN

Apple and WiLAN have signed a patent licensing agreement which concludes a series of disputes over iPhone wireless technologies, going back to 2007.

From the launch of the original iPhone, Apple and non-practicing entity WiLAN have been engaged in multiple suits and countersuits regarding patent infringement. Most recently, a 2020 ruling saw Apple being ordered to pay $109 million to the patent aggregator.

According to Reuters, however, the two firms have now signed a patent licensing agreement which appears to settle all disputes.

WiLAN is a subsidiary of Quarterhill Inc, and itself has a subsidiary named Polaris Innovations. Quarterhill says that the new agreement includes "the settlement and dismissal of all litigation pending between WiLAN and Polaris and Apple in the United States, Canada and Germany."

The complex history of WiLAN and Apple disputes goes back to the 2007 launch of the iPhone. Then WiLAN included Apple in its accusations of multiple companies infringing on its Wi-Fi patents.

At times, Apple has won certain of the lawsuits, such as in 2013 when a two-year trial ended with a jury deciding against WiLAN.

In 2018, WiLAN won a case that meant Apple was initially ordered to pay $145 million for patent infringement. However, in 2019, Apple successfully petitioned for the ruling to be reduced to just $10 million.

None of the parties have commented further. Details of the agreement are being kept confidential.