Apple Has Licensed iOS Design Patents to Microsoft, Agreement Bans "Cloning"

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple has licensed its design patents to Microsoft -- the same patents at issue in the Samsung case -- according to Boris Teksler, director of Patent Licensing & Strategy at Apple. The development was revealed today in the Apple v. Samsung trial according to Dan Levine, a legal reporter for Reuters who is covering the trial from the courtroom.
Apple patent licensing director Teksler: Apple has licensed its design patents to Msft, but they have an "anticloning" agreement.
Ian Sherr, legal reporter for Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, adds additional information on the statement, saying that the design patents are covered under Apple and Microsoft's patent cross-licensing agreement. Apple could be making this point to show that Samsung should have licensed the patents as well.




In June, Microsoft introduced its 'Surface' tablet to compete with the iPad and Android tablets. Though there are significant physical similarities to the iPad, the Metro user interface is significantly different from iOS. The "anticloning" agreement between Microsoft and Apple may be satisfied by the Surface's very dissimilar operating system.

A Reuters article by Levine sheds some additional light on the agreement:
Apple's decision to license its design patents to Microsoft was consistent with its corporate strategy, Teksler said, because the agreement prohibited Microsoft from manufacturing copies.

"There was no right with respect to these design patents to build clones of any type," Teksler said.
The agreement is especially notable given the history of lawsuits between Microsoft and Apple, including the "look-and-feel" trial that Apple largely lost.

The Samsung trial has given Apple-watchers an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the incredibly secretive company, including detailed numbers of U.S. iPhone and iPad sales as well as a look into Apple's marketing strategy and the fact that Eddy Cue had worked to convince Steve Jobs of the need for a 7-inch iPad.

Article Link: Apple Has Licensed iOS Design Patents to Microsoft, Agreement Bans "Cloning"
 

nick_elt

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2011
1,578
0
As much as I have been burned by Windows in the past, I gotta give credit to Microsoft for showing the world that that yes you can come up with your own fresh ideas and implement them. Doesnt mean ill buy their stuff anytime soon tho. (unless some amazing Lumia Pureview comes out soon)
 

iMacFarlane

macrumors 65816
Apr 5, 2012
1,123
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Adrift in a sea of possibilities
My favorite Apple branded lawsuit against MicroSoft back in the day was when they tried to sue due to the inclusion of "Find" in the Start Menu in Windows 95, because it was too similiar to "Finder" on the Mac.

I was on the other side of the camp back then :cool:
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
See Samsung? Is it that hard to actually PAY for the things you take?
minus the fact Apple is not putting it up for anyone else. This could really come back to hurt Apple and then getting nailed for the actions.

Something already smelled pretty bad between Apple and MS.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,504
3,050
This bolsters Apple's case. First, it shows that Apple can be reasonable with another competitor, plus it shows evidence that Apple isn't singling out Samsung in enforcement of its design patents. Apparently at some point Microsoft and Apple reached agreement that enables Microsoft to compete in the market while satisfying Apple's concerns about design infringement.
 

576316

macrumors 601
May 19, 2011
4,056
2,482
See, Samsung? This is the way you make nice products. You ASK and PAY for use of others' patents? Maybe take something away from this, eh Sammy?


I LOVE the look of the surface! Being a Windows 8 lover, this thing looks great. I like the idea of having a Windows 8 PC and a Windows 8 tablet. Especially as the surface has a cover which has a keyboard in it! Apple would charge a lot more for that!

Surface is definitely an iPad killer!
 

2bikes

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2012
420
4
minus the fact Apple is not putting it up for anyone else. This could really come back to hurt Apple and then getting nailed for the actions.

Something already smelled pretty bad between Apple and MS.
What do you mean by `Apple is not putting it up for anyone else`? until now we didn't know they were putting it up for Microsoft either.
 

mevensen

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2011
11
0
I wonder how much Apple is compensated per device, or is it a one time fee.
They probably got no money, since it is a cross-licensing agreement.

-t
Compensation is not just monetary. It would still be interesting to see how much "value" they got out of those patents from Microsoft -- what were the MS patents including in the cross-licensing, etc?

I think this could be very signficant for Apple in the current trials, as it demonstrates that at least one other large tech company recognized that there was value and validity in the patents in question.
 

sha4000

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2012
139
1
minus the fact Apple is not putting it up for anyone else. This could really come back to hurt Apple and then getting nailed for the actions.

Something already smelled pretty bad between Apple and MS.
Well Apple did say they offered to license patents to Samsung at some high rate per device. But I feel like Apple and MS are best buddies now.
 

Malus120

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2002
273
268
I'll admit, I have no love for Microsoft and the majority of their products. That said, I have a lot of respect for what they've done in the mobile space. They've shown that you CAN create an alternative to iOS without blatantly ripping off Apple's IP.

This agreement further demonstrates that even Microsoft understands that
A) You license other's IP when you have to, instead of trying to get away with grand theft.
B) If you don't wanna be dependent on that license forever, all you have to do is start thinking outside the "box" of that license...

All I have to say is, either force them to play by the rules or NAIL SAMSUNG to the wall Apple.
 

1=1?

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2010
212
79
See Samsung? Is it that hard to actually PAY for the things you take?
Apple would not license to Android. The only reason they are doing this is because it helps their case and it also supports the other competitor vs Android. Apple knows it can squish MS at any time, it's Android that is a threat to them.

See, Samsung? This is the way you make nice products. You ASK and PAY for use of others' patents? Maybe take something away from this, eh Sammy?


I LOVE the look of the surface! Being a Windows 8 lover, this thing looks great. I like the idea of having a Windows 8 PC and a Windows 8 tablet. Especially as the surface has a cover which has a keyboard in it! Apple would charge a lot more for that!

Surface is definitely an iPad killer!
:facepalm:
Look samsung you asks and pay for patents! I love the smartcover MS made before they bought the patents!
 

lifeinhd

macrumors 65816
Mar 26, 2008
1,389
7
127.0.0.1
First reading the headline I was a bit surprised, but I suppose it makes sense since Apple doesn't except msft to pose a serious threat. So basically, a little free money with no real potential for loss.
 

mevensen

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2011
11
0
minus the fact Apple is not putting it up for anyone else. This could really come back to hurt Apple and then getting nailed for the actions.

Something already smelled pretty bad between Apple and MS.
Except that we have already seen testimony the Apple had offerred a similar licensing agreement to Samsung. So Apple did "put it up" for them, they just didn't bite.
 

prezasti

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2010
390
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See, Samsung? This is the way you make nice products. You ASK and PAY for use of others' patents? Maybe take something away from this, eh Sammy?


I LOVE the look of the slate! Being a Windows 8 lover, this thing looks great. I like the idea of having a Windows 8 PC and a Windows 8 tablet. Especially as the slate has a cover which has a keyboard in it! Apple would charge a lot more for that!

Slate is definitely an iPad killer!
I think the Keyboard is also a patent that MSFT is paying Apple for, so I'm not so sure I would call it an iPad killer yet. Also, if Microsoft had to make it look like the iPad just to sell it, then it really isn't an iPad killer, but more like an iPad-Step-Brother. Microsoft may as well call it the iStep or iPaid Apple to make this. No?
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,318
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agreement bans "cloning...." :( :(

The magnetic keyboard smart cover is sweet. Would have loved that on the iPad.
 

antman2x2

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
523
194
New YAWK
This is actually pretty cool to hear.

The windows 8 tablet looks great so far!

And this also shows samsung..... just ask.