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Apple forced to share HTC deal figures with Samsung

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Samsung Galaxy S3
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Apple has been ordered by a US judge to share details of its recent licensing agreement with HTC as Samsung is granted access to the currently undisclosed figures.

Having agreed a 10-year licencing agreement with HTC earlier this month, Apple is to be forced to share details of the deal with Samsung after the Korean tech giant petitioned a US court stating it was “almost certain” the licencing covered a selection of patents it is currently disputing with the iPhone 5 manufacturer.

Whilst the settlement agreement between Apple and HTC will not be made public, US courts have ordered the iPad maker to supply a full copy of the contracted deal to Samsung on an “attorneys’ eyes only” basis. The courts added that Apple should provide the information “without delay.”

Although Apple has come to an amicable solution to the near 20 patent cases it has been contesting with HTC across the globe since 2010, the Cupertino company remains in a number of lengthy legal disputes with Samsung regarding a selection of patented technologies and design rights.

With Apple having been awarded a staggering $1.05 billion (£652m) in damages following a tumultuous legal battle with Samsung earlier this year, a battle which saw the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned from sale, the Samsung Galaxy S3 maker has appealed the decision. It is believed that the last move to reveal Apple’s deal with HTC could help Samsung in its proposed retrial.

"It is clearly a very smart move from Samsung - because the general feeling is that a lot of its patent disputes with Apple are very likely to be similar to those between HTC and Apple," Andrew Milroy of consultancy Frost & Sullivan told the BBC. "If there are similarities, it gives Samsung an advantage in any future legal issues and negotiations with Apple."

Are the Apple vs. Samsung legal disputes your version of an entertaining soap opera or do you think the two company’s should simply come to a deal, settle the issues and move on? Share your thoughts on the matter with us via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comments boxes below.

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