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Article

Apple Offered Samsung a License Two Years Ago

Apple estimates that it might have cost Samsung $288 million back then, now it’s asking $2.5 billion

Apple is apparently more reasonable than it lets on.

 

Back in 2010 it offered Samsung a license. Apple estimates that it might have cost Samsung $288 million back then. Now it's asking $2.5 billion and that's just in the current case in California.

FOSS Patents calls it "the most spectacular revelation of the ongoing trial."

In August of 2010 a "shocked" Apple, upset that a major supplier could copy its iPhone technology, handed Samsung a detailed presentation of dozens of examples of where it believed the Korean company's Galaxy S phone infringed its patents.

Most of those patents haven't been asserted in litigation anywhere.

 

Two months later in a document pointedly called "Samsung-Apple Licensing Discussion" it offered to license its patents for $30 per handset and $40 per tablet. The license would have covered Samsung devices running Android, Symbian, Bada and Windows Mobile operating systems.

Samsung could have gotten a 20% discount if it agreed to a cross-license. It could have gotten a better discount if it agreed to stop using Apple's most proprietary features and used a different design.

Apple refused to license its most sacrosanct widgetry such as its design patents.

 

Boris Teksler, Apple's director of patent licensing and strategy, testified that only companies making knock-offs would be interested in them. "It's what we don't wish to share and don't want others to mimic," he told the jury.

Still "We were trying very hard to come up with an amicable resolution with Samsung," Teksler said. "We wanted them to respect and protect our unique user experience."

 

Samsung had mostly FRAND-pledged patents to offer in return and is demanding 2.4% of Apple's sales for them.

 

Negotiations of course failed and Apple filed suit currently being heard six-and-a-half months later.

 

FOSS Patents observes that Apple isn't the only patent holder with Android claims. Microsoft is taxing it and "publicly traded companies collectively worth more than $1 trillion are suing Android companies."

 

It says in view of the evidence presented at trial analysts' estimates of the per-unit royalties being charged will have to be increased.

 

See the documents entered into evidence at www.scribd.com/doc/102595858/Apple-s-August-2010-presentation-to-Samsung-on-iPhone-patents and www.scribd.com/doc/102594989/Samsung-Apple-Oct-5-2010-Licensing.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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