Apple tells Samsung it will only license out 'lower level patents'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In its ongoing legal battle with Samsung, Apple has told its rival that it owns a "thicket of patents," but it will only license "lower level patents" to competing companies.



The revelation comes from a 65-page document Apple filed in Australian court last week, after the iPad maker was granted a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents went through the filing, and declared it "one of the most interesting court orders I have read in connection with mobile devices."



In the filing, Apple revealed that it is prepared to allow Android device makers the ability to license "some lower level patents." But Apple also wants to keep many of its inventions exclusive to its own iOS products.



Mueller said the document shows that Apple did not begin pursuing legal action against Android device makers simply to obtain a licensing deal. That's in contrast to Microsoft, which is believed to receive $5 per unit for every Android device sold by HTC.



Microsoft's licensing deal with HTC is believed to be so lucrative that some pundits have speculated that the company could make more money off of Google's Android platform than it does from its own Windows Phone 7. But Apple has taken a different approach.



"Apple optimizes for product differentiation," Mueller wrote. "Apple isn't Microsoft, which concluded a license deal with Samsung as well as eight other Android device makers. Those two companies have different business models in general and with respect to patents in particular."



Microsoft and Samsung announced in late September that Microsoft will receive royalties for Samsung's Android-powered smartphones and tablets. The two companies also agreed to cooperate in the development and marketing of the Windows Phone platform.



Apple has had the upper hand in its legal encounters with Samsung, successfully securing the injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, as well as another, separate injunction in Germany. But Samsung has not found as much success, as last week a Dutch judge ruled in favor of Apple and denied Samsung's request to halt iPhone and iPad sales in the Netherlands.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    That's a pretty anti-competitive statement. Oh well.
  • Reply 2 of 82
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In the filing, Apple revealed that it is prepared to allow Android device makers the ability to license "some lower level patents." But Apple also wants to keep many of its inventions exclusive to its own iOS products.



    There's got to be more to the story than this. Does any hardware or software manufacturer license all of their IP to competitors?
  • Reply 3 of 82
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    Apple has never licensed out any patents its invented, not sure why they would start now.
  • Reply 4 of 82
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    That's a pretty anti-competitive statement. Oh well.



    I disagree. Apple is not against competition ..... but they are wary of spending their resources (time and money) to develop superior devices, only to watch lazy companies steal their designs and ideas under the guise of competition. If others want to compete ... do so .... but use your own ideas .... no?
  • Reply 5 of 82
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,254member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newbee View Post


    I disagree. Apple is not against competition ..... but they are wary of spending their resources (time and money) to develop superior devices, only to watch lazy companies steal their designs and ideas under the guise of competition. If others want to compete ... do so .... but use your own ideas .... no?



    Agreed.
  • Reply 6 of 82
    That seems like a dangerous strategy. What's going to happen when Apple needs to licence patents from other people?
  • Reply 7 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post


    Apple has never licensed out any patents its invented, not sure why they would start now.



    Untrue.
  • Reply 8 of 82
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post


    Apple has never licensed out any patents its invented, not sure why they would start now.



    The famous $150 million investment Microsoft made in Apple in 1997 including patent cross-licensing and ended their patent disputes.
  • Reply 9 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    That's a pretty anti-competitive statement. Oh well.



    On the contrary. It's a very competitive statement.
  • Reply 10 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post


    Apple has never licensed out any patents its invented, not sure why they would start now.



    Not sure where you got this from. They license plenty of patents. They generally license their patents through consortiums (like MPEG Consortium or Khronos Group), but they do direct licensing too (like recently with Nokia). This is basically why Motorola's patents were not very good for legal defense (or is it offense... not sure with our mutually assured destruction patent system) because they are licensed through various consortiums for open standards.
  • Reply 11 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel001 View Post


    That seems like a dangerous strategy. What's going to happen when Apple needs to licence patents from other people?



    OMG, what if Coca-Cola needs to license patents from Pepsi? They'd better share the forumla for Coke, no?
  • Reply 12 of 82
    am8449am8449 Posts: 349member
    What does "lower level" mean in regards to patents?



    This article doesn't explain. And neither does the original article that this article's based on.
  • Reply 13 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by am8449 View Post


    What does "lower level" mean in regards to patents?



    The article doesn't explain.



    My guess is that these are patents that are either more general or are required to implement standards.
  • Reply 14 of 82
    shompashompa Posts: 343member
    Forbes wrote that Microsoft will make billions of Android.

    Between 700-1000 million just next year. This is much more then their Windows Mobile division does earn and probably will ever earn.



    In lastest Google report they say that Google makes 2.5 billion on mobile advertising. Some less intelligent news sites have reported that "Android generates 2.5 billion". No, its all mobile devices with Google search engine including Android and iOS.



    Microsoft makes more money on Android then Google does, since licensing is free money.



    Android is so far the most expensive "free" (linux) OS in the world. Google have spent upwards 20 billion on buying stuff like Android, patents from IBM and Motorola mobile. They have also lost patent cases with their Linux code in Android.



    If Google had some self criticism they would not have launched Android and instead continued to pay phone makers to make Google the default search engine. Far cheaper.



    Google could also have invented something themselves, so they did not have to buy patents and license stuff.



    And this is just the beginning. The ruling Apple Vs HTC / Samsung will probably cost Android OEMs even more.



    I would have no problem with Google if the simply had developed their own OS like WebOS. But that is not their culture. Google buys stuff and release it. They settle after the fact, like the royalties Google have to pay for all Youtube videos.
  • Reply 15 of 82
    shompashompa Posts: 343member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    The famous $150 million investment Microsoft made in Apple in 1997 including patent cross-licensing and ended their patent disputes.



    Microsoft also payed a settlement fee that have not been disclosed. Indirectly they admitted to do wrong things. (Like Intel paying AMD and so on...)



    If Apple had not been near bankruptcy in 1997, they would not have accepted those terms. MSFT made a bargain. Especially since they sold the 150 million Apple stocks with a large profit.
  • Reply 16 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    There's got to be more to the story than this. Does any hardware or software manufacturer license all of their IP to competitors?



    Sure it is. I belive that deal is about A4, A5 chips
  • Reply 17 of 82
    Smack!!
  • Reply 18 of 82
    Apple better make sure they don't step on Samsung's patent-holding toes with any future product or they better be prepared to develop a new or different way to achieve or implement it. I know I'm making a generalized statement but there are so many patents to make so many CE products function that Samsung probably has oodles of key patents covering everything from TVs to cellular and general telephony technology to computers and chips. How does one establish where the line is drawn between low-level and high-level patents? Seems subjective to me, and I think it would be difficult for any given Judge to decide where the line is, also.





    Does anyone here know with any certainty whether or not Samsung is infringing on an important, key patent unique to Apple products, which makes their function that much more superior, or is this more of a smokescreen to allow Apple to monopolize in a sneaky kind of way? In other words, is Apple not playing nice in the sandbox or is there a truly unique and legitimate patent to protect, and if the shoe was on any other CE company's foot would that company be fighting with as much vigor as Apple?





    Survey: Apple...



    Running scared and engaging in unfair practice to protect market share?



    or



    Fighting for what they believe in, protecting their IP and forcing other to innovate, invent and invest to the same extent as they do?
  • Reply 19 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel001 View Post


    That seems like a dangerous strategy. What's going to happen when Apple needs to licence patents from other people?



    It's not complicated at all.



    If it makes more $$ for them to do so, these 'other people' will. If it doesn't, they won't.



    In the latter case, then Apple had better innovate, and do it differently/better.
  • Reply 20 of 82
    The strategy is really simple. License other companies' IP but don't let other companies license Apple's own IP. That way, Apple will always have the best devices. Who can argue with this strategy?



    Nokia/Samsug/Motorola etc are just stupid to buy into this 'standards' thing, especially Nokia, if they'd have kept their IPs to themselves in the first place and never license to anybody, they'd have been able to shut down Apple's iPhone long time ago and it won't be in such misery right now.
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