The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) patent fight playing out in courts revealed an interesting piece information coming out from the testimony of Apple’s director of patent licensing and strategy, Boris Teksler.
According to Teksler, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) offered to license a portfolio of valuable design patents to Samsung in 2010, but with clauses that kept certain design patents, which dealt with a “unique user experience”, in a protected category. Some of these special patents are the subject of the dispute, and according to Teksler, the instances where Apple licensed those patents could be counted “on one hand.”
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One of these instances appears to be Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Apple licensed the design patents to Microsoft with an “anti-cloning” rider, and this agreement was therefore consistent with its corporate strategy, according to Teksler. He said “There was no right with respect to these design patents to build clones of any type.” Apple has a long-standing cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
As negotiations with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) did not result in a similar agreement, Apple had no choice but to take its grievances to court.
Interestingly, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) has claimed that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made no mention of the design patents at these meetings, to which Apple has responded by saying that the patents were pending at the time and many were granted much later.
Teksler is quoted as saying, “We were clear we weren’t offering a license to everything. We had yet to discuss some what we termed ‘untouchables,’ if you will. … We wanted to get properly compensated for that which was infringed, and with respect to our unique user experience. That’s exactly what we were trying to do with this presentation.” That means, Apple was never really giving a blank cheque on the patents, with or without the anti-cloning clause.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is likely finishing up placing its side of the arguments, and Samsung will argue later this week.