Apple and ten other companies have settled a lawsuit with licensing company SimpleAir, it was announced Thursday. The settlement, agreed to April 21, ends a lawsuit dating back to late 2009.
SimpleAir, a “non-practicing entity” that licenses patents but does not engage in any other business (often derisively known as a “patent troll”), first filed suit against Apple, RIM, Walt Disney Co., Facebook, and seven other companies on September 23, 2009 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a jurisdiction notorious for plaintiff-friendly patent litigation.
The case was scheduled to go to trial on April 23, just two days before the settlement agreement was reached. The defendant companies will now license SimpleAir’s patents under confidential terms.
SimpleAir filed a separate suit against Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung, Nokia, and several other mobile companies last September, related to two of the patents above. That case remains unresolved but Thursday’s announcement of the company’s settlement with Apple, et al. will undoubtedly have an impact on the strategy of that litigation.