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Apple offered Samsung UMTS cross-licensing agreement prior to trial

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
It was revealed in a court filing this week that prior to its California patent trial against Samsung, Apple proposed a mutual agreement regarding cross-licensing patented 3G/UMTS technologies with the Korean company under what it considered to be FRAND terms.

Teksler Letter
Source: Apple v. Samsung court documents.


A recently unredacted letter from Apple's property licensing director Boris Teksler to his counterpart at Samsung, Seongwoo Kim, described a reciprocal deal in which each company would pay royalty rates for the other's 3G/UMTS wireless patents under the same FRAND principles. The letter, which was included in a flurry of post-trial filings, was dated April 30, 2012, just three months before the Apple v. Samsung jury trial began.

In its proposal, Apple said it would license Samsung's 3G/UMTS patents under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, rather than the 2.4 percent requested by the Korean company, if Apple's own wireless patents were licensed at rates calculated using the same approach.

The letter points out more than once that Samsung hasn't offered evidence of any company paying a royalty similar to the 2.4 percent of average selling price (ASP) it requested of Apple.

Apple is willing to license its declared-essential UMTS patents to Samsung on license terms that rely on the price of baseband chips as the FRAND royalty base, and a rate that reflects Apple?s share of the total declared UMTS-essential patents (and all patents required for standards for which UMTS is backward-compatible, such as GSM)--provided that Samsung reciprocally agrees to this same, common royalty base, and same methodological approach to royalty rate, in licensing its
declared-essential patents to Apple.

Apple estimates that this approach, which implements the true meaning of and requirements imposed by FRAND, results in a $.33 (thirty-three cents) per unit royalty for the Apple patents. Apple will today license its declared-essential UMTS patents to Samsung at that rate, provided Samsung reciprocally agrees to the FRAND principles that result in that rate. This rate would be applied to all Samsung units that Apple has not otherwise licensed. Samsung would likewise need to agree that it would only charge royalties on Apple units that Samsung has not otherwise licensed.


Apple asked that Samsung respond by May 7, and while it is unclear whether any further discussion took place, the apparent outcome was not deemed copacetic by one or both parties.

During the landmark patent case, a separate but similar licensing deal was discovered to have been floated by Apple, with the company asking Samsung to license certain iPhone and iPad patents for $30 and $40, respectively.

post #2 of 37
From what we see as spectators of all this wrangling, you can't help but get the impression that Samsung's management doesn't even understand what's being disputed.
post #3 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode 5 View Post

From what we see as spectators of all this wrangling, you can't help but get the impression that Samsung's management doesn't even understand what's being disputed.

 

Very much doubt that, Samsung know full well what is being questioned with concern to their behaviour and intentionally copying Apple products!

post #4 of 37
Gotta give Apple credit for not bringing their FRAND pledged patents into the courtroom or ITC, unlike Samsung, Moto, and HTC.
post #5 of 37
Everyone pegs Apple as the aggressor and bully, conveniently forgetting all the patent attacks and unreasonable licensing demands made against them. How can Apple be expected to be the one lone company that just gives in to every demand and violation and won%u2019t play hardball?
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode 5 View Post

From what we see as spectators of all this wrangling, you can't help but get the impression that Samsung's management doesn't even understand what's being disputed.

 

Samsung's management know very much what they are doing.

 

Using FRAND based patents as a bludgeon to extort Apple into licensing their other, non-FRAND, iOS based IP, thus forcing Apple to take legal action. 

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post #7 of 37

No sign of the usual suspects. Not surprising.

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post #8 of 37

Idiots.

 

It almost seems like they wanted to get fined.

 

Scorecard:

Samsung: 0

Apple: 1bn

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post #9 of 37
See Fandroids, Apple offered cross-licensing to Sammy. They didn't want to sue.
post #10 of 37

Samsung, by refusing to cooperate or compromise is trying to create an atmosphere of negative attitude towards Apple.  Smear campaign.  They are hoping to discredit Apple so much that Apple will lose face in the public eye and then Apple sales of their devices will suffer and Samsung will gain a foothold.

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post #11 of 37

Just let me start by saying Samsung should license the portfolio out. However easy for Apple to say that they will cross reference their FRAND patents out at .33c and Samsung should do the same.

How many patents are they both bringing to the table? I would imagine Samsung has more patents in this area than Apple as they have been in the mobile space long before Apple even thought about an iPhone.

 

So if they both have the same amount of patents then .33c sounds great infact they should just cross license with out charge but some how I think Samsung has many more than Apple. Samsung is in their right to ask for what ever they want with in reason unless Apple sweetens the pot.

post #12 of 37

Just let me start by saying that Samsung is one of the few companies in this day and age that actually seems willing to travel the long, hard road of investing in research and development for products that will truly impress and delight their customers. This is a company that has a long history of innovation, not to mention a CEO who's very name has been associated with the I. T. industry for decades.

 

Their combination of savvy business acumen, ability to accurately anticipate what their customers want, honesty, and integrity is what has put them in the position that they find themselves in now. It is unfortunate that a company like Apple seems willing to attempt to ride in behind them on their coat-tails.

 

However, I do believe that the example that Samsung has set will serve to guide, not only Apple, but many companies in the future as to how to genuinely become successful.

 

Oh, and by the way, when I told you about everything above...

 

 

...I lied.

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post #13 of 37
No, petrosy,Samsung does not have the right to ask for what ever they want if the patents in question are FRAND
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post #14 of 37

Oh dear... and all this time everyone thought it was Apple who was being obtuse. 

post #15 of 37

There are a lot of different companies who have different FRAND patents which go towards making-up wireless technology. If Apple, because of its success, was forced to pay 2.5% of the average selling price of each unit sold to each of these companies, Apple's profit margins would probably reduce to (or very close to) single-digits.

 

How much technology a company owns is neither here nor there if you do nothing with that tech -- the iPhone made people want to own a smartphone. Apple single-handedly dragged the mobile phone industry from mediocrity to first-choice device. Yes, people still settle for simple phones, and poorer people across the world cannot afford smartphones -- yet. There may well come a time when economies of scale and some regulation of networks (one can hope) will result in lowering prices and then the world and his dog are going to be using smartphones. The smart companies are going to make the money, just like Apple does right now.

post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by petrosy View Post

Just let me start by saying Samsung should license the portfolio out. However easy for Apple to say that they will cross reference their FRAND patents out at .33c and Samsung should do the same.

How many patents are they both bringing to the table? I would imagine Samsung has more patents in this area than Apple as they have been in the mobile space long before Apple even thought about an iPhone.

 

So if they both have the same amount of patents then .33c sounds great infact they should just cross license with out charge but some how I think Samsung has many more than Apple. Samsung is in their right to ask for what ever they want with in reason unless Apple sweetens the pot.

You're correct Apple own patent portfolio for cell phones is probably small but they own the Nortel portfolio as well and that is large since they were one of the companies which help designed the the cell phone and communication industry before they died. Basically it was Motorola, Lucent and Nortel who help defined most of today's modern mobile communications standards. Okay maybe you can add in Nokia as well. Samsung only implemented what other defined and possible made derivative improvements. 

post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by petrosy View Post

Just let me start by saying Samsung should license the portfolio out. However easy for Apple to say that they will cross reference their FRAND patents out at .33c and Samsung should do the same.

How many patents are they both bringing to the table? I would imagine Samsung has more patents in this area than Apple as they have been in the mobile space long before Apple even thought about an iPhone.

 

So if they both have the same amount of patents then .33c sounds great infact they should just cross license with out charge but some how I think Samsung has many more than Apple. Samsung is in their right to ask for what ever they want with in reason unless Apple sweetens the pot.

 

Having read the attachment, Apple did not say Samsung should charge $0.33.  It said based on the percentage of FRAND Patents I control times the average cost of a baseband chip (The part that actually uses the patents) I would charge $0.33 if you agree to use the same FRAND calculations.  Lets say that Samsung has 10x the number of UTMS Patents that Apple does (it unlikely to be that high, considering Apple controls the former Nortel Patents), this would make the amount that Apple has to pay Samsung $3.30 not the $15.60 (Based on an ASP of $650 for a 16GB iPhone 5) Samsung is asking for. 

 

Apple also said that it should not have to pay anything on any part that is already licenses through their supplier.  (eg From another Topic, Either Samsung or Motorola I forget now, sent a letter to Qualcom stating that their licensing agreement no longer applies to parts sold to Apple.  That is a clear violation of the non-discrimitory part of FRAND.)

 

It looks like Apple is truly questioning the "with in reason" part of what Samsung is asking for.  They even point out that in the case where they were sued by Erricson, they made the same arguments that Apple is making now.  While IANAL, This does sound like a case of Judicial Estoppel.  If it is, that will get the case thrown out quickly.

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Just let me start by saying that Samsung is one of the few companies in this day and age that actually seems willing to travel the long, hard road of investing in research and development for products that will truly impress and delight their customers. This is a company that has a long history of innovation, not to mention a CEO who's very name has been associated with the I. T. industry for decades.


That's what happens when you look at a multinational, diversified holding company as a single entity.

While it is true that some parts of Samsung have innovated greatly, that does not change the fact that their entire mobile handset business appears to have been built around slavishly copying Apple's products. We can't give their handset division a free ride simply because their semiconductor division has been innovative.

Please don't confuse the two.
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post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by petrosy View Post

Just let me start by saying Samsung should license the portfolio out. However easy for Apple to say that they will cross reference their FRAND patents out at .33c and Samsung should do the same.

How many patents are they both bringing to the table? I would imagine Samsung has more patents in this area than Apple as they have been in the mobile space long before Apple even thought about an iPhone.

 

So if they both have the same amount of patents then .33c sounds great infact they should just cross license with out charge but some how I think Samsung has many more than Apple. Samsung is in their right to ask for what ever they want with in reason unless Apple sweetens the pot.

Your forgetting that Apple has the Nortel patents which is a big bundle of patents.

 

Apple didn't pay billions for the Nortel patents for nothing.  There are alot of cell phone and communication patents in that bundle.

post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post

Gotta give Apple credit for not bringing their FRAND pledged patents into the courtroom or ITC, unlike Samsung, Moto, and HTC.

 

so let me get this straight, Apple wants to charge $25 / per device for a handful of utility patents, but also wants to access Samsung's vast communication 3G/UTMS patents for pennies in exchange for Apple's meager collection of comm/tech patents?


Edited by tooltalk - 10/4/12 at 8:51am
post #21 of 37
For those that speak of Apples "meager collection" of patents. Can you please describe for us the number of patents they are currently holding that they are asking for FRAND terms on? Then also describe for us the number of Patents that Samsung holds and are asking to be paid for. It would be helpful to put a number around what meager is.
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post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

so let me get this straight, Apple wants to charge $25 / per device for a handful of utility patents, but also wants to access Samsung's vast communication 3G/UTMS patents for pennies in exchange for Apple's meager collection of comm/tech patents?

Why don't you look up some information on SEP and FRAND patents? What you just described is quite common - almost universal. When you make your patent FRAND, you are essentially agreeing that you will take less money per handset in exchange for having almost all handsets use your technology. If you don't use FRAND, you can ask for more money for your patent, but not everyone would use it. Samsung made their choice when they submitted their patents to the standards bodies.
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post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Why don't you look up some information on SEP and FRAND patents? What you just described is quite common - almost universal. When you make your patent FRAND, you are essentially agreeing that you will take less money per handset in exchange for having almost all handsets use your technology. If you don't use FRAND, you can ask for more money for your patent, but not everyone would use it. Samsung made their choice when they submitted their patents to the standards bodies.

as apparently Apple and/or the previous owner of that IP did. From the article itself:

 

Apple is willing to license its declared-essential UMTS patents to Samsung ...

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post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

 

Very much doubt that, Samsung know full well what is being questioned with concern to their behaviour and intentionally copying Apple products!

 

Sure, but the PUBLIC has the perception that Apple "won't license" with anyone. And they are being fully and completely painted as patent trolls. It's the opposite of course; Samsung redesigned their phone to make it as close as possible to an iPhone, and they made $20 billion doing that. And they will do it again because the costs in court are still lower than going your own way like Blackberry.

 

Samsung got to make money from a company they were in a privileged manufacturing agreement with by ripping off their designs -- and Apple wanted to come to the table with them ANYWAY.

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Why don't you look up some information on SEP and FRAND patents? What you just described is quite common - almost universal. When you make your patent FRAND, you are essentially agreeing that you will take less money per handset in exchange for having almost all handsets use your technology. If you don't use FRAND, you can ask for more money for your patent, but not everyone would use it. Samsung made their choice when they submitted their patents to the standards bodies.

 

Well, there is nothing in FRAND / SEP dictating how much or what percentage patent holders can charge, is there?  The point of FRAND is to promote industry wide adoption by making their standard essential patents widely available for licensing & at fair, reasonable rates. Again, if Apple can charge around 20% for low-end Android phones for a handful utility patents, I don't see why 2.25% is unreasonable, unfair for FRAND patents?

 

What's more uncommon is Apple's patent strategy - Apple and Jobs seemed to believe they are the only ones getting patents, while others are just copying their *innovative* ideas ( see Jonathan Schwartz blog : http://jonathanischwartz.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/good-artists-copy-great-artists-steal/ ). Most companies don't sue each other for trivial patents or at least settle before it ever goes to trial. Remember, Samsung wasn't interested at all in going after Apple until Apple's lawsuits last year.


Edited by tooltalk - 10/4/12 at 12:52pm
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

 

Sure, but the PUBLIC has the perception that Apple "won't license" with anyone. And they are being fully and completely painted as patent trolls. It's the opposite of course; Samsung redesigned their phone to make it as close as possible to an iPhone, and they made $20 billion doing that. And they will do it again because the costs in court are still lower than going your own way like Blackberry.

 

Samsung got to make money from a company they were in a privileged manufacturing agreement with by ripping off their designs -- and Apple wanted to come to the table with them ANYWAY.


Well, according to the court papers (Apple vs. Samsung), Apple made it clear that they don't license their core-patents, period.  Apple's patent offer to Samsung in 2010 largely consisted of non-core OS patents that had nothing to do with the recent lawsuit. That's just too bad that now Apple is trying to fight back Samsung with patents that Apple bought from Nortel & others. With $120+B in cash, Apple should seriously consider spending more on real technology R&D.


Edited by tooltalk - 10/4/12 at 1:05pm
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

.... Remember, Samsung wasn't interested at all in going after Apple until Apple's lawsuits last year.

 

Up until Apple began to assert their intellectual rights that is....

post #28 of 37

For standards essential patents, the royalties/payments should all be built into the price of the chip. The value is in what the chip does and should be portable with the chip. Everyone (even if they are due a piece of the royalty) should pay the fee on a per chip basis and do whatever they want with the chip. The fees can then be split later, in a transparent way, by the entities that hold the patents. This is the way things are normally done and the only reason it isn't done in this case is because of ---

ridiculous, childish politicking,

bluster, lying, obfuscation

bullying,wheedling,

whining, and

underwear-staing fear

on the part of companies who

want a winning lottery ticket rather than a royalty check,

or

have zero confidence in their ability to innovate and serve customers in the future.

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

Well, there is nothing in FRAND / SEP dictating how much or what percentage patent holders can charge, is there? 

 

Actually, there is. the terms cannot be set to force unwanted cross-licesnsing, or purchase of unwanted patents. The aggregate rate charged also has to be reasonable. This is well understood.

 

Quote:

Again, if Apple can charge around 20% for low-end Android phones for a handful utility patents, I don't see why 2.25% is unreasonable, unfair for FRAND patents?

 

Yup. They can. Those patents are not part of a standard and have not been put into a patent pool to be licensed under FRAND terms.

Any patent owner can set the terms as they please for their non FRAND encumbered patents (althfhough they may still need to be nondiscriminatory in their dealings.)

post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

 

 

Yup. They can. Those patents are not part of a standard and have not been put into a patent pool to be licensed under FRAND terms.

Any patent owner can set the terms as they please for their non FRAND encumbered patents (althfhough they may still need to be nondiscriminatory in their dealings.)

 

so what is that rate?

post #31 of 37
Petrosy you a little confused. Licensing under FRAND doesn't work the way you think. It isn't you show me yours and I show you mine and if I got more than you you give me more. It works like this. I have this/these patents that are part of this STANDARD. By being part of the STANDARD I agree to license the patent/patents out to all others that wish to use the technology at a reasonable rate. Whether they have any sort of patents that I'm interested in is irrelevant. I'm not allowed to discriminate. I must treat all others that wish to licence the patents equally.

Read the letter then let that info try to penetrate your cranium. If that doesn't work then go back to smoking your crack pipe.
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

so what is that rate?

You said, ". . there is nothing in FRAND / SEP dictating how much or what percentage patent holders can charge, . . . "

 

I said, "Yes, there is [something] . . . "

No fixed rates, just prohibitions on coercive activities, virtually all of which Samsung attempted to employ.

But don't trust me, just google "FRAND terms."

Wikipedia has a nice entry that will inform the intelligent and motivated reader.

 

[BTW, "Aggregate Rate," is an important and relevant concept to this case.]

post #33 of 37

Easy there tiger "gimpymw"....you going to give yourself an ulcer!

post #34 of 37

If you read the relevant ETSI IP standard for FRAND terms, they specifically allow for cross-licensing. 

 

In fact, that used to be the only way that Motorola (who originally had over 50% of GSM patents) allowed the use of their IP.  Either you bought their chips with the IP included, or you cross-licensed everything to get access to the patents to make your own chips.  There was no other monetary royalty asked for or allowed.

 

ETSI has no other FRAND term requirements or limits than the above.

 

The royalty rates are traditionally set on the price of the phone because 1) it encouraged companies to make more affordable phones so that there's more adoption... which worked!, and 2) it's fairer to companies making extremely low profits (a handful of dollars) from making extremely affordable phones for the third world.

 

Apple came to the cellular party late in the game, taking advantage of many other companies shouldering the early and expensive buildup of customers and infrastructure and chips. They also make far and away the highest profit margins.  

 

Luckily for them, FRAND means they get access to the same deals as everyone else,anyway.  That means either paying high rates or swapping IP to get lower rates... just like everyone else.

 

Since Apple doesn't want to swap IP, they're understandably trying to change the rules to make the rates lower without doing what everyone else did.  In other words, they're asking for discriminatory rates unlike any others.

post #35 of 37

Who are you responding to?

I'll assume it's me, even though you could be talking to yourself.

 

If you read the standards and, more importantly, the court decisions interpreting them, you would find that "forcing" cross licensing or patent bundling upon unwilling parties has been found to be incompatible with the intent of FRAND terms. Additionally for the charged royalty to be "Fair and Reasonable" it must be consistent with and proportional to a "Reasonable and Non Discriminatory" aggregate royalty rate for all essential patents included in the standard. Without such an interpretation patent stacking and "hold up" are inevitable. These are two the main SEP abuses FRAND terms were originally designed to prevent.

In light of this it is easy to see that if Samsung charges 2.25% for their small portion of the standard, the aggregate rate of royalties for all essential patents would be wildly unreasonable, discriminatory, and anticompetitive.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

If you read the relevant ETSI IP standard for FRAND terms, they specifically allow for cross-licensing. 

 

In fact, that used to be the only way that Motorola (who originally had over 50% of GSM patents) allowed the use of their IP.  Either you bought their chips with the IP included, or you cross-licensed everything to get access to the patents to make your own chips.  There was no other monetary royalty asked for or allowed.

 

ETSI has no other FRAND term requirements or limits than the above.

 

The royalty rates are traditionally set on the price of the phone because 1) it encouraged companies to make more affordable phones so that there's more adoption... which worked!, and 2) it's fairer to companies making extremely low profits (a handful of dollars) from making extremely affordable phones for the third world.

 

Apple came to the cellular party late in the game, taking advantage of many other companies shouldering the early and expensive buildup of customers and infrastructure and chips. They also make far and away the highest profit margins.  

 

Luckily for them, FRAND means they get access to the same deals as everyone else,anyway.  That means either paying high rates or swapping IP to get lower rates... just like everyone else.

 

Since Apple doesn't want to swap IP, they're understandably trying to change the rules to make the rates lower without doing what everyone else did.  In other words, they're asking for discriminatory rates unlike any others.


Edited by DESuserIGN - 10/5/12 at 4:42pm
post #36 of 37

Finally saw the "white" iP5 today. The exposed aluminum is not really what I would cal "white." It looks like a simple "plain" anodizing process.

Conclusion: anodized and coated. No dye or paint.

post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

If you read the standards and, more importantly, the court decisions interpreting them, you would find that "forcing" cross licensing or patent bundling upon unwilling parties has been found to be incompatible with the intent of FRAND terms.

 

Sure.  However, Samsung doesn't require cross-licensing (they have a cash rate), and they don't require buying any other patents ("patent bundling").

 

Quote:

Additionally for the charged royalty to be "Fair and Reasonable" it must be consistent with and proportional to a "Reasonable and Non Discriminatory" aggregate royalty rate for all essential patents included in the standard.

 

Most everyone agrees that the starting (no negotiations) aggregate rate for ETSI FRAND patents is high.  Over 30% total. Heck, Qualcomm alone still gets 3.25% or more for their patents unless you buy their chips.  That's why everyone cross-licenses; to get lower rates.

 

Naturally, that clashes with Apple's desire to wring out as much profit margin as possible, and without sharing any IP.

 

Still, since the current ETSI FRAND rate structures have been used for well over a decade by numerous parties, it's difficult to claim that they've been too "unreasonable".   Especially now, when they're the lowest they've ever been. 

 

This is not to say that they couldn't be even more reasonable, but that's true of everything in life.  For example, it would be a lot more "reasonable" if Apple did not charge $200 more for phones that have just $30 more Flash memory... but they're in business to make money, just as the FRAND patent holders are.  

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