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Apple Was Ready To Cross-license Its Patents

When Samsung first presented its first Galaxy phones, Apple executives were “shocked” to see the similarities between the iPhone and the Android phone. Their reaction, since Samsung is a strategic partner, was to offer a deal despite the rivalry.

Apple vs. Samsung
As a result, Apple’s patent portfolio licensing offer looked like this: $30 per Smartphone and $40 per tablet.

“Samsung chose to embrace and imitate Apple’s iPhone archetype,” Apple said in an Oct. 5, 2010 presentation to Samsung. “Apple would have preferred that Samsung request a license to do this in advance. Because Samsung is a strategic supplier to Apple, we are prepared to offer a royalty-bearing license for this category of device.”

In addition, the Cupertino-company was ready to give Samsung a 20% discount in the case of a cross-license deal. As Apple’s estimate showed, back in 2010 the South Korean manufacturer owed them $250 million, which was just a small part of what they spent on components. Now—after two years of failed negotiation—the world’s biggest tech company is seeking .5 billion in damages, saying Samsung’s devices slavishly copy Apple’s flagship mobile devices and violate Apple’s patent and trade dress.

“Apple has identified dozens of examples where Android is using or encouraging others to use Apple patented technology,” Apple said in the August 2010 presentation, which contained the headline “Samsung copying iPhone.”
“Many more Apple patents are relevant to the Android platform,” Apple said, outlining dozens of patents it believed were being infringed. “Apple has not authorized the use of any of these patents.”

Apple’s position—expressed by its patent licensing director Boris Tekler—is obvious: the company doesn’t understand why one of its key strategic partners decided to build such a copycat product. But this isn’t all: what they do not say is that these copycat products have driven their partner’s billions in revenue. And that with the number of Smartphone shipments up, Samsung has dethroned Apple as the largest Smartphone vendor across the globe. [Via AllThingsD]

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