Imagination Technologies Announces New Licensing Agreement With Apple

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Imagination Technologies announced on Thursday that Apple has replaced a licensing agreement with the British chipmaker for access to its intellectual property in exchange for license fees.


In a brief statement on its website, the U.K. firm said that the substitute multi-use license agreement, first announced in February 2014, would allow Apple access to a "wider range" of Imagination's IP.
London, UK; 2nd January 2020 - Imagination Technologies ("Imagination") announces that it has replaced the multi-year, multi-use license agreement with Apple, first announced on February 6, 2014, with a new multi-year license agreement under which Apple has access to a wider range of Imagination's intellectual property in exchange for license fees.
The development marks a dramatic shift in relations between the two companies following three years of discord, beginning in April 2017 when Apple told the chipmaker that it planned to stop using its graphics technology in iOS devices within two years.

Imagination relied on Apple for up to half of its revenue and saw its shares fall by 60 percent on the news of Apple's plans. Imagination also publicly criticized Apple, claiming that it doubted the tech giant could go it alone without violating Imagination's patents, IP, and confidential information.

After entering a "dispute resolution procedure" with the company, Imagination accused Apple of unauthorized use of its IP. Apple hit back by claiming that the firm had known for nearly two years that it was winding down the relationship, and was only revealing the separation after Apple had invoked a clause in its contract to pay lower royalty rates.

Imagination lost 70 percent of its value following the dispute with Apple, and despite a successful restructuring and a return to profitability for the company, put itself up for sale in June 2017. Imagination was bought by the Chinese-funded private equity firm Canyon Bridge in November 2017.

Article Link: Imagination Technologies Announces New Licensing Agreement With Apple
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,540
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In between a rock and a hard place
Games console GPU anyone? 😀
Between the upcoming PS5 and the XB Series X rumored specs... a gaming console based on Imagination's tech doesn't seem likely.

9to5Mac speculates that Augmented Reality may be the reason for the cooperation.
Relevant excerpt: "One clue over what may have changed could be Imagination’s newly announced IMG A-Series GPU which claims to be the fastest GPU IP to date. Imagination has said that the first Systems-on-Chips with its IMG A-Series GPUs will hit the market this year.

Could this mean Apple will rely on Imagination GPUs once again or opt for the licensed chips in other categories beyond iPhone — like the long-rumored augmented reality headset
?"
 
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now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
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Just another company whose existence has become totally dependant on the whims of Apple. Not a good position to be in regardless of the quick bucks
 

Unregistered 4U

macrumors 68000
Jul 22, 2002
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More like they realized that they couldn’t make their own gpu without infringing on the patents Imagination holds.
They did and ARE making their own GPU. The current iPhones/iPads all use Apple produced GPU’s. They haven’t used Imagination for at least a couple years. Now, this COULD be to provide a higher power GPU for a desktop form factor ARMacOS system... but anyway, interesting news as Apple wouldn’t enter into an agreement if they didn’t need to.
 

Hyperchaotic

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2005
101
98
One would hope that companies considering doing business with Apple take heed of this and other similar stories.

Apple is often accused of lots of unpleasantness that are in fact common business practices across corporate America, or world even. Them being in the headlines more often doesn't make them better or worse, it's just journalistic bias.

I worked in a European company that did work with big American companies and we had to think of everything in the contracts to protect ourselves. I remember we referred to Motorola as The Company of Lawyers.
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
19,364
19,286
California
Apple is often accused of lots of unpleasantness that are in fact common business practices across corporate America, or world even. Them being in the headlines more often doesn't make them better or worse, it's just journalistic bias.

I worked in a European company that did work with big American companies and we had to think of everything in the contracts to protect ourselves. I remember we referred to Motorola as The Company of Lawyers.

What, exactly, is the allegedly shady business practice here?
 
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sublunar

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2007
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They did and ARE making their own GPU. The current iPhones/iPads all use Apple produced GPU’s. They haven’t used Imagination for at least a couple years. Now, this COULD be to provide a higher power GPU for a desktop form factor ARMacOS system... but anyway, interesting news as Apple wouldn’t enter into an agreement if they didn’t need to.

Probably don't want to get involved in lengthy litigation. It seems to be Apple's MO to license stuff rather than buying it up wholesale - it keeps the company 'agile' for want of a better description. Whether it's a good idea for an entity the size of Apple or not is another thing.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
7,588
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I never understood why Apple didn’t buy them. Weird decision making process.

no cost licensing!
Apple screwed those company over ... a court case was initiated to try them to this affect and obvious nothing. Came of it.

reading the Bloomberg article on this has me questioning Apple’s brace motives. This isn’t strategic this was shady.
[automerge]1578000461[/automerge]
Apple is often accused of lots of unpleasantness that are in fact common business practices across corporate America, or world even. Them being in the headlines more often doesn't make them better or worse, it's just journalistic bias.

I worked in a European company that did work with big American companies and we had to think of everything in the contracts to protect ourselves. I remember we referred to Motorola as The Company of Lawyers.

Have a good read through this Bloomberg article.


Apple Strikes New Deal with U.K. Chip Designer It Sidelined in 2017
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...-deal-with-u-k-chipmaker-it-sidelined-in-2017

Screenshot attached to highlight particular mention.
 

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CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
7,966
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no cost licensing! Apple screwed those company over ... a court case was initiated to try them to this affect and obvious nothing (c)ame of it.

The article notes Apple is paying them licensing fees, so how is this "no cost licensing"?

The article also notes that this new agreement covers more areas of Imagination's IP portfolio than the original agreement. So it sounds like Imagination has IP in areas beyond just smartphone-class GPUs that Apple is interested in which led them to enter into an expanded licensing agreement with them.
 

podlasek

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2008
69
18
USA
Why? They can license the IP and use their own development team, and not have to support Imagination’s other customers, all for much less money.

Maybe, but they obviously created something of use to Apple long before Apple had the need, which shows their internal IP is forward thinking. Also, by bringing in the tech internally they could cherry pick and use parts of it in their on-going products all while getting revenue from other companies for the old tech through the existing licensing.

And obviously, in this case, they thought they weren't going to need it anymore but had to go back to the well and re-license, so initial estimates of any cost savings may have been incorrect. While that is a hindsight comment that couldn't have been foreseen, I'm surprised Apple doesn't buy more instead of rent especially with their deep pockets.
 
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