Apple and Microsoft Cross-Licensed Patents and Agreed Not to Clone Each Other’s Products

An Apple executive testified Monday in the Samsung product copying trial that the Cupertino consumer electronics giant entered into a cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft that included patents related to the iPad and iPhone. Most intriguingly, the company’s agreement included a stipulation that Apple and Microsoft wouldn’t copy each other’s products.

In other words, Microsoft agreed not to clone the iPhone and iPad, a charge Apple has leveled against Samsung. (On the flipside, Apple also agreed not to copy Microsoft’s products, which could include Windows, Windows Phone, and more.)

"We couldn’t copy each other’s products,” Apple’s Boris Teksler told the court on Monday, referring to the cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft. Apple says that the patents Microsoft licensed are the exact patents that Apple wanted to license to Samsung.

“Apple would have preferred that Samsung request a license to ... embrace and imitate Apple’s iPhone archetype,” an Apple presentation given to Samsung in 2010 but revealed in court this week reads. “Because Samsung is a strategic supplier to Apple, we [were] prepared to offer a royalty-bearing license for this category of device.”

"We were trying very hard to come up with an amicable resolution with Samsung," Teksler said in court, referring to Apple’s 2010 presentation. "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."

Samsung says that Apple’s licensing price--$30 to $40 per device—amounts to extortion. But Apple argues that the licensing costs were far outweighed by the prices Apple pays Samsung for the components it uses in its iPhones and iPads.

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