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Apple licensed scrolling patent to IBM & Nokia, offered to Samsung

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Contradicting a belief that Apple refuses to license its patented technology to competing companies, a new report reveals that both Nokia and IBM licensed a patent covering iOS touch-based scrolling, and a licensing agreement was also offered to Samsung.

Apple's agreements with IBM and Nokia were disclosed in a court filing in Apple's ongoing legal battle with Samsung. Though the details were redacted from the documents made public, The Verge got a glimpse at the original, uncensored court filing which reveals the licensing deals.

Nokia and IBM have paid Apple for the use of U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381, entitled "List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling, and Rotation on a Touch-Screen Display." It covers the scrolling behavior in iOS, in which a background texture is displayed when a user scrolls beyond the end of a website or document.

The same patent has been cited by Apple in its attempts to have Samsung's devices barred from sale. Last week, a California judge denied Apple's request to have the sale of certain Samsung Galaxy products stopped.

But Apple reportedly offered a license on the '381 patent to Samsung in November of 2010 as part of settlement negotiations between the two companies. However, unlike IBM and Nokia, Samsung did not license the patent.

Author and legal expert Nilay Patel noted that the fact that Apple has licensed the '381 patent is significant, because the company believes it's a strong patent from its iPhone-related portfolio. Specifically, Samsung, Nokia and HTC have all been sued over the '381 patent.

"Offering up a distinctive software feature covered by a strong patent indicates a level of willingness to negotiate that we simply haven't heard from Apple in the past -- it's a far cry from Steve Jobs telling his biographer that he was willing to go "thermonuclear war" on Google and Android OEMs for infringing Apple's patents," Patel wrote.

Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, released in October, reveals that the Apple co-founder vowed to "destroy" Google Android, which he considered to be a "stolen product." It also said that Jobs told former Google CEO Eric Schmidt he didn't want Google's money, and that he wasn't interested in settling and reaching a licensing agreement.

"I don't want your money," Jobs reportedly said to Schmidt. "If you offer me $5 billion, I don't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want.
post #2 of 24
Licensing is LAZY!
Make better technology and stop using others' smelly socks.
post #3 of 24
Perhaps Apple knows that these legal fights will take them nowhere and better stop to cut a deal now; basically just let it go. There are better things to do.

Apple did buried a hatchet with IBM and Microsoft. Time to do the same with mobile phone makers?
post #4 of 24
I am not really sure I follow the logic of this article! SJ was alive in November 2010 so the offering to Samsung has nothing to do with the "far cry" mentioned in this post.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairthrope View Post

Perhaps Apple knows that these legal fights will take them nowhere and better stop to cut a deal now; basically just let it go. There are better things to do.

Apple did buried a hatchet with IBM and Microsoft. Time to do the same with mobile phone makers?

I think you may have that backwards - it sound more like Samsung should get with the program and stop wasting time and money and reach an agreement similar to what others have done.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Nokia and IBM have paid Apple for the use of U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381, entitled "List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling, and Rotation on a Touch-Screen Display." It covers the scrolling behavior in iOS, in which a background texture is displayed when a user scrolls beyond the end of a website or document. . .

Rather than paying money for the patent use, it's been assumed Nokia got the rights to it in the settlement Apple made with them a few months ago. If you remember at the time, Apple stated they had given Nokia a license to some, but not all of the patents that make the iphone unique. As for IBM, IIRC there was a package of patents that Apple needed from them. They may have made a licensing trade with them too since I can find any indications that any money flowed from either Nokia or IBM into Apple coffers.

Not that this matters all that much, since it simply confirms the belief that Apple did license some unique iPhone patents to Nokia to make the suit go away. Why Samsung/Apple negotiations didn't have the same result is anyone's guess. It would have benefited both sides for there to have been a settlement IMO.
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post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Rather than paying money for the patent use, it's been assumed Nokia got the rights to it in the settlement Apple made with them a few months ago. If you remember at the time, Apple stated they had given Nokia a license to some, but not all of the patents that make the iphone unique. As for IBM, IIRC there was a package of patents that Apple needed from them. They may have made a licensing trade with them too since I can find any indications that any money flowed from either Nokia or IBM into Apple coffers.

Not that this matters all that much, since it simply confirms the belief that Apple did license some unique iPhone patents to Nokia to make the suit go away. Why Samsung/Apple negotiations didn't have the same result is anyone's guess. It would have benefited both sides for there to have been a settlement IMO.

It's not relevant. If Apple has two licensees for the patent, it strengthens their position significantly.
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post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

It's not relevant. If Apple has two licensees for the patent, it strengthens their position significantly.

Probably correct, which makes the failure of Apple and Samsung to come to an agreement even less understandable to me. I'm sure there's Samsung patents that Apple would like to license, and there's certainly some of Apple's that Samsung would like permission to use. The article isn't clear if Apple changed their mind or either Samsung or Apple couldn't agree on the final package.
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post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

Isnt this the same patent that got the galaxy tab 10.1 banned in the Netherlands? IIRC Samsung was able to work around it in the 2 weeks that the court gave to remove it.

Maybe because of that it wasnt as appealing to Samsung when Apple offered to license it to them? Although its hard to draw any conclusions without knowing the full package that was offered.

I think you may be correct. It was a list scrolling patent that Sammy worked around. I just haven't the time right now to see if it's the same one.
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

I think you may have that backwards - it sound more like Samsung should get with the program and stop wasting time and money and reach an agreement similar to what others have done.

I agree, that was my reading of this article too. This must surely give Apple a far stronger hand in this particular patent infringement case.
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post #11 of 24
Apple will make money off of Nokia and IBM when they sell their junk using Apple's patent. Period. It is all about money. What else matters to these behemoth corporations?
post #12 of 24
I don't get how the steve jobs comment about google stealing from apple relates to licensing patents :|
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Apple will make money off of Nokia and IBM when they sell their junk using Apple's patent. Period. It is all about money. What else matters to these behemoth corporations?

Apple may be a behemoth corporation, but they are different from all other behemoth corporations. Apple does not try to get as much profit as possible.

If they did, they would have licensed OSX to clone makers, so that proves it.

Instead, Apple cares only about making great products and making users happy. The larger than average profits are a mere side-effect, and not anything that Apple is trying to obtain.

When Apple makes decisions. they never really consider which option would result in larger profits. Instead, they focus like a laser on user Experience.

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

Licensing is LAZY!
Make better technology and stop using others' smelly socks.

Errr... you realize that the iPhone wouldn't exist without Apple licensing technology from other companies, right?
post #15 of 24
What are IBM going to with it?

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post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

Licensing is LAZY!
Make better technology and stop using others' smelly socks.

Design-led companies like Apple license technology patents like 3G radios; engineering-led companies like Nokia license design patents like inertial scrolling.

What's the problem? Seems fair to me.

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post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Offering up a distinctive software feature covered by a strong patent indicates a level of willingness to negotiate that we simply haven't heard from Apple in the past -- it's a far cry from Steve Jobs telling his biographer that he was willing to go "thermonuclear war" on Google and Android OEMs for infringing Apple's patents," Patel wrote.

Huge leap of logic there.

Also I hope he got that the offer was made when Steve was actively CEO.

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post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFreeman View Post

I am not really sure I follow the logic of this article! SJ was alive in November 2010 so the offering to Samsung has nothing to do with the "far cry" mentioned in this post.

Exactly. That part of the article makes no sense. Steve Jobs was the active CEO when the patent was offered to Samsung.

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post #19 of 24
Quote:
"Offering up a distinctive software feature covered by a strong patent indicates a level of willingness to negotiate that we simply haven't heard from Apple in the past -- it's a far cry from Steve Jobs telling his biographer that he was willing to go "thermonuclear war" on Google and Android OEMs for infringing Apple's patents," Patel wrote.

Another stupid analysis having not clue what he is talking about. The fact that Apple agree to license certain IP to certain companies does not mean Steve was not prepared to fight a company who he felt just took the idea. It sounds like IBM came to apple and asked and probably asked nicely so they go it the agreement. Also the Nokia deal was part of the deal that Apple did to settle with Nokia on the other issues. The probably told Nokia they would pull this previous agreement if they did not settle.

As it been pointed out before, Apple is not going directly at google they are attacking all of Googles partners to the point they are all now considering doing something different than using Android. Apple could win without going thermonuclear on Google. Remember Google makes money selling ad placement and if everyone moves to platforms other than Android they could loose out on lots of mobile ad revenue.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Apple is not going directly at google they are attacking all of Googles partners...

No, they aren't.

Motorola, SonyEricsson, Huawei, ZTE, Asus, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and others for example.

Motorola attacked Apple.

Motorola has terminated FRAND licenses for their patents of baseband chip manufacturers ONLY for chips that are supplied to Apple.

They are doing this so the patents aren't exhausted and they have refused Apple's offers to pay.

This seems VERY discriminatory, anti-competitive and against the spirit of FRAND based standards.
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post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


When Apple makes decisions. they never really consider which option would result in larger profits. Instead, they focus like a laser on user Experience.


And you know this for a fact? Did they tell you such? Are you an Apple senior executive? Insider? Are you stating as fact something you absolutely have no knowledge of? I think so.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

And you know this for a fact? Did they tell you such? Are you an Apple senior executive? Insider? Are you stating something you absolutely have no knowledge of.

No he's being a bit of a smart-alack. He wasn't expecting to be taken seriously.
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post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Apple may be a behemoth corporation, but they are different from all other behemoth corporations. Apple does not try to get as much profit as possible.

If they did, they would have licensed OSX to clone makers, so that proves it.

Why do you assume Apple would make more money by licensing OSX to clone makers?
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

No, they aren't.

Motorola, SonyEricsson, Huawei, ZTE, Asus, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and others for example.

Motorola attacked Apple.

Motorola has terminated FRAND licenses for their patents of baseband chip manufacturers ONLY for chips that are supplied to Apple.

They are doing this so the patents aren't exhausted and they have refused Apple's offers to pay.

This seems VERY discriminatory, anti-competitive and against the spirit of FRAND based standards.



I was under the impression that FRAND was permanent and could not be terminated? Educate me with links please.

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