Apple licensed iPhone, iPad patents to Microsoft, with "anti-clone" restriction

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Apple's patent licensing director Boris Teksler testified that the company licensed a series of patents to Microsoft, but failed to reach a licensing agreement with Samsung despite reaching out to the company in October of 2010.

Teksler said he could "count on one hand" the number of times Apple had licensed its prize patents to other companies, making its offer to negotiate a patent portfolio license to Samsung noteworthy.

Among the few companies to license Apple's patents were Microsoft, but "there was no right with respect to these design patents [for Microsoft] to build clones of any type," Teksler testified, noting that the agreement prohibited Microsoft from building devices using iPhone and iPad designs.

That "no clone" agreement might help explain why Microsoft partnered with Palm and then Nokia rather than seeking to acquire them, in its efforts to gain traction for Wiindows Mobile and then Windows Phone 7.

Industry observers expected the company to follow the iPod-like Zune with a "Zune Phone" of its own design, but that never happened. Interestingly, Microsoft is now seeking to release a tablet it named "Surface" in a bid to challenge the iPad.

Surface
Surface marks Microsoft's first foray into the tablet hardware market. | Source: Microsoft


That decision has not only ruffled the feathers of Microsoft's hardware partners, but may also create issues with Apple's "no clone" restrictions within the two companies' cross-patent licensing agreement.

Microsoft has gone so far to call Surface a "design point" that would help ostensibly its hardware partners, rather than compete with them, but it has also clearly positioned the new product concept as its own iPad, with a design that associates with Apple at least as close as Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    magic_almagic_al Posts: 325member


    Is this a consequence of the famous Jobs-Gates deal of 1997 continuing in force beyond the five years mentioned then, or a new deal between Microsoft and Apple?

  • Reply 2 of 42
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,371member


    Apple and M$ are interesting bed partners, MS is walking a thin line and they really do not want to piss off Apple that is for sure. Gates and Jobs somehow admired one another in their own way.

  • Reply 3 of 42
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Samsung devices aren't clones just because they're black rectangles with a bezel. It's because theyre that AND have a host of other similarities.

    The MS Surface doesn't appear to be as offensive to me, any more than the Kindle Fire is offensive.
  • Reply 4 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post


    Is this a consequence of the famous Jobs-Gates deal of 1997 continuing in force beyond the five years mentioned then, or a new deal between Microsoft and Apple?



    no, i'd say it was written into the original deal to develop word and excel for the original mac ....... !!??!!

  • Reply 5 of 42


    Basically AAPL and MSFT have same enemy - GOOG, that's why they're together. The moment GOOG is defeated, the moment these 2 companies will start fighting each other.

  • Reply 6 of 42
    pendergast wrote: »
    Samsung devices aren't clones just because they're black rectangles with a bezel. It's because theyre that AND have a host of other similarities.
    The MS Surface doesn't appear to be as offensive to me, any more than the Kindle Fire is offensive.

    I agree with this completely. The Surface really does try to do something new with the tablet space. To me, that is a worthy competitor to the iPad (still want the iPad to win). Notice, there is no one who is even remotely sane or intelligent who could confuse the Surface with the iPad. Even the Kindle Fire has enough distinction in it so your average person wouldn't confuse the two.

    Same-sung, however, you cannot say that. They are damn near identical.
  • Reply 7 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post



    Samsung devices aren't clones just because they're black rectangles with a bezel. It's because theyre that AND have a host of other similarities.

    The MS Surface doesn't appear to be as offensive to me, any more than the Kindle Fire is offensive.


     


    totally agree. microsoft did its own thing and doesnt look to be emulating the ipads design in any way other than the face of it. the back and body are clearly different, as is their cover for the screen with the keyboard and mouse built in. those are unique just as much as the windows os running on it is. i dont see any reason apple would get its panties in a knot over this. 

  • Reply 8 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,720member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mike Eggleston View Post





    I agree with this completely. The Surface really does try to do something new with the tablet space. To me, that is a worthy competitor to the iPad (still want the iPad to win). Notice, there is no one who is even remotely sane or intelligent who could confuse the Surface with the iPad. Even the Kindle Fire has enough distinction in it so your average person wouldn't confuse the two.

    Same-sung, however, you cannot say that. They are damn near identical.


    I will almost guarantee that if/when the Surface is actually released that it will be confused for an Apple iPad by some significant percentage of casual onlookers. If 25% of those shown a B&N Nook thought it was an iPad (according to Apple's own expert) it's not much of a stretch to think this one might be confused for an Apple product by even more people.

  • Reply 9 of 42
    jason98jason98 Posts: 760member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post



    Samsung devices aren't clones just because they're black rectangles with a bezel. It's because theyre that AND have a host of other similarities.

    The MS Surface doesn't appear to be as offensive to me, any more than the Kindle Fire is offensive.


     


     


    Does the surface have inertial scrolling and rubber banding? I can't imagine these tiles usable at all without inertial scrolling. 


    And if it does have it, then it is not just a "black rectangle" anymore.

  • Reply 10 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Apple and M$ are interesting bed partners, MS is walking a thin line and they really do not want to piss off Apple that is for sure. Gates and Jobs somehow admired one another in their own way.



     


    Back in their early days, both Gates and Jobs were both against the man -- the fifdoms of the maimframe computer establishment.  Then they [both] became the establishment.

  • Reply 11 of 42
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,639member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    I will almost guarantee that if/when the Surface is actually released that it will be confused for an Apple iPad by some significant percentage of casual onlookers. If 25% of those shown a B&N Nook thought it was an iPad (according to Apple's own expert) it's not much of a stretch to think this one might be confused for an Apple product by even more people.



    Yeah, just look at Mac listings on any Craigslist.  People don't even know the names of the items they are selling.  My favorite recently was a Mac Pro 12 core for sale in Portland with Thunderbolt.


    How do these people have jobs?  Or ever find their keys?  Or manage to get their skivvies under their pants?

  • Reply 12 of 42
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,455member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    Yeah, just look at Mac listings on any Craigslist.  People don't even know the names of the items they are selling.  My favorite recently was a Mac Pro 12 core for sale in Portland with Thunderbolt.


    How do these people have jobs?  Or ever find their keys?  Or manage to get their skivvies under their pants?



     


    And for our friends in the UK, I sure hope the pants are underneath something.....

  • Reply 13 of 42
    Basically AAPL and MSFT have same enemy - GOOG, that's why they're together. The moment GOOG is defeated, the moment these 2 companies will start fighting each other.

    Prrreeeaaaccchhh
  • Reply 14 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drobforever View Post


    Basically AAPL and MSFT have same enemy - GOOG, that's why they're together. The moment GOOG is defeated, the moment these 2 companies will start fighting each other.



    Shhh, Ballmer doesn't even know of this.


     


    Seriously... this is bidness.   Apple gets a pass on any Microsoft legal attacks, and Microsoft can make a rectangular tablet ;-) (okay, semi-seriously).   Apple wants its deck cleared of any other litigation, and MS needs to gain a foothold in the marketplace.    Google won't be defeated, but Samsung et al will need to either pay that $30 per device to Apple (probably the best case out of this petition), making them not very profitable against the iPad, Or basically telling Samsung and Google and everyone else to rejigger the OS UI to make it non-infringing, and pay 2Billion in punitive damages because Samsung has acted as if the legal system didn't matter.   


     


    I think the key difference is the metro UI... no one will claim MS is copying iOS.  


     


     


     


    Personally, I think apple will have a leg up on MS on any fight relating to mobile devices until Win9 is released. 

  • Reply 15 of 42
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,342member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Apple and M$ are interesting bed partners, MS is walking a thin line and they really do not want to piss off Apple that is for sure. Gates and Jobs somehow admired one another in their own way.





    Hmmm.... methink this "agreement" might have some fine-print about porting MS-Office to iOS???  

  • Reply 16 of 42
    jason98jason98 Posts: 760member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post




    Hmmm.... methink this "agreement" might have some fine-print about porting MS-Office to iOS???  



     


    I think you put too much value on MS-Office. MS needs its office on iPad way more than Apple does.  

  • Reply 17 of 42
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,455member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post


     


    I think you put too much value on MS-Office. MS needs its office on iPad way more than Apple does.  



     


    Well, if they did, I would buy it. (as long as it isn't $300....image )

  • Reply 18 of 42
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 625member


    ...(nevermind)...too volatile for the thread.

  • Reply 19 of 42
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    jason98 wrote: »

    Does the surface have inertial scrolling and rubber banding? I can't imagine these tiles usable at all without inertial scrolling. 
    And if it does have it, then it is not just a "black rectangle" anymore.

    Wouldn't that fall under the above mentioned licensed IP?

    They're paying to use it, so they can use it.

    Win8 and WP7 have vastly different UIs than iOS, where it's been shown that Samsung went out of its way to make Android look even more like iOS, down to the icons and their placement. Oh, and the packaging.
  • Reply 20 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post




    Hmmm.... methink this "agreement" might have some fine-print about porting MS-Office to iOS???  



     


    I had the same thought when I heard of the sweat deal Apple and MS inked for their touch products. Apple is well on it's way toward being welcomed into the enterprise and government organizations with the iPhone and the iPad... and the MacOS isn't doing too badly either. Having MS Office on board those products will grease up the process even further. 


     


    MS has got be concerned that if they don't make it possible for iOS to run Office, then Apple's iWork (crippled as it may be) may take a firm foothold in the place of Office for a segment of the enterprise and government workers. 


     


    In a few weeks MILLIONS of school students will hold an iPad in their hands for the first time and they will begin to learn how to use iWork to write out their thoughts. Many of them will never look for another writing program again. If I were the MS CEO this thought would be like pouring ice water down my back.

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