The blame game of patents between Apple and Samsung is fast becoming the stuff of legends, with global courts deciding claims and counter claims between the two on a regular basis, so that whilst it won’t come as a shock when Apple executives testified they were “shocked” when Samsung debuted its first Galaxy phones, but it surprising, to some at least that it seems Apple were willing to make a deal with its rival.
It has emerged that in October 2010, Apple offered an olive branch to its Korean rival in the form of an offer to license its portfolio of patents, provided the company was willing to pay on the order based on $30 per smartphone and $40 per tablet.
The outcome, perhaps unsurprising, was Samsung chose to develop and market their own products, though Apple said a subsequent presentation to Samsung in October 2010 “Samsung chose to embrace and imitate Apple’s iPhone archetype. 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.”
It is now also apparent that Samsung were offered a further deal by Apple in the form of a 20 per cent discount if Samsung were willing to cross-license its portfolio back to Apple, though Apple were also seeking royalties on Samsung’s non-Android smart phones, most particularly those running the Symbian and Bada operating systems.
In Apple’s estimations, Samsung would have owed Apple approximately $250M, a significant sum, but notably less than Apple was spending on its components. After a period of almost two years, the October 2010 offer was made public on Friday.
This comes in the midst of what has become a titan battle in international courts regarding claim and counter claim of patent rights. As much as two month earlier than the October 2010 offer, in August 2010, Apple had warned Samsung that they believed Samsung had copied their IPhone and was infringing Apple patents.
Apple stated in an August 2010 presentation, “Apple has identified dozens of examples where Android is using or encouraging others to use Apple patented technology. Many more Apple patents are relevant to the Android platform….Apple has not authorized the use of any of these patents”.
The outcome of the October 2010 negotiations are clear to see and as a consequence Apple and Samsung are in the midst of a number of patent battles, most currently, the high profile jury trial taking place in San Jose, California. As well as a ban on some of Samsung’s key products, Apple is seeking as much as $2.5 billion in what they are alleging to be Samsung’s “slavish copy” of their products, namely the iPhone and iPad.
The world market will wait with bated breath regarding this landmark case, with many experts already commenting that a ruling in Apple’s favor would be a blow for consumers as it would not only limit competition but stifle innovation and development by rivals to Apple. We have to wait until we get a verdict on this from the courts so lets keep our fingers crossed.