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Apple Secretly Offered Samsung Royalty-Bearing License For iPhone, iPad Patents

Apple’s lawyers called to the witness stand one of the executives, Borks Teksler, who revealed that Apple actually offered Samsung royalty-bearing licenses so that it could use iPhone and iPad patents without the fear of getting sued.

“Because Samsung is a strategic supplier to Apple, we are prepared to offer a royalty-bearing license for this category of device,” the preamble of Teksler’s presentation said.

The terms of the license Jobs and Cook would have wanted to offer to Samsung were:

  • $30 per Android, Symbian and Bada smartphone (Windows phones to be discussed)
  • $40 per touchscreen tablet
  • Various discounts, e.g. 20% in exchange for a license to use Samsung’s patent portfolio

But apparently, the South Korean company didn’t pursue the transaction; instead it released its own line of products which Apple claimed to have infringed several of its patents.

The testimony of Apple’s director of patent licensing strategy, Teksler, once again narrated how the executives of the Cupertino-based tech giant were shocked upon seeing the Samsung’s first touchscreen smartphone in March 2010. He added that both Steve Jobs and Tim Cook requested a meeting with Samsung executives immediately over the similarities of Samsung’s smartphone to Apple’s iPhone.

Both companies are actually very close partners considering the South Korean manufacturer supplies Apple with some electronic components used for the manufacturing of some of its products including iPhones and iPads. Even now that they are embroiled in court over patent infringement cases, their business still continues.

In his testimony, Teksler said to the jury, “We didn’t understand how a trusted partner would build a copycat product like that.” He is referring to the first generation Galaxy S which looks exactly the same as with the iPhone. Teksler is actually making a point that Samsung is a long-time industry partner to Apple yet it decided to pose a competition by copying the latter’s device in almost every aspect.

Several high-ranking executives from Apple have already been called to the witness stand just to prove that its contention is valid. But if there is one thing worth-nothing from Teksler’s testimony, it’s the fact that he pointed out Samsung released its first touchscreen device in 2010. I tried to dig a little about it and I found that the Korean Manufacturer had actually been working on such technology prior to the offer made by Apple, here are three of the Samsung’s touchscreen smartphones which were released before 2010;

Samsung SGHi900 – it was a touchscreen phone the company had been working in 2008. This device hadn’t debuted though because it was discontinued prior to its release.

Samsung i7500 – this is the company’s first Android-based smartphone which was announced in April 2007 and released in June of the same year. Samsung’s adaptation to the fast-rising Android mobile OS paved a way for more touchscreen devices.

Samsung S7550 Blue Earth – released in 2009, this device was among Samsung’s few handsets sporting TFT capacitive touchscreen.

Based on the offering by Apple, Samsung could have paid around $250 million, a very small percentage compared to the $2.5 billion currently being requested by its competitor. As the battle between these two continues, we can expect that more information about their individual businesses be revealed.

Source: All Things D