Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Licensed Design Patents to Microsoft With Anti-Cloning Clause

If you’re wondering why Apple isn’t suing over Windows Phone devices, Matthew Panzarino has your answer:

For those who have said that Apple refuses to license its patents to other companies, this should be some interesting news. Apple apparently has licensed the design patents that it is currently fighting with Samsung over, and to one of its perennial rivals: Microsoft. […]

The patents were apparently licensed to Microsoft with an “anti-cloning agreement” in place in order to stop Microsoft from turning out copies of the iPhone and iPad.

The trial has also shown that Apple tried to license the patents in dispute:

Apple had made overtures in the past toward the electronics giant in the past in an effort to secure a licensing deal that would cover patents it believed were being infringed, noting that Samsung is a “strategic supplier.” In court documents released today, we now learn that Apple had a dollar figure in mind in an October 2010 meeting — it was proposing that Samsung pay a base rate of $30 per touchscreen phone (Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, and Bada alike) and $40 per tablet, decreasing to $30 over the course of two years.

Of course Apple would prefer to have Samsung license each patent, but they should have known the likely result. Samsung has a history of copying their competitors. It’s not the first time they’ve been sued, and it won’t be the last. I doubt Samsung will change.