Apple offered to license patents to Samsung in 2010: $30 per smartphone, $40 per tablet

August 11, 2012
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A screen grab from Apple presentation to Samsung claiming the Galaxy S copied the iPhone, and offering to license its design patents for $30 per smartphone and $40 per tablet.

Apple and Samsung are currently in heated debates over design patents, and is currently undergoing litigation in a California court to determine liability. But even before Apple accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying its product designs, the Cupertino, CA company said it had offered cross-licensing agreements with Samsung to the tune of $30 per smartphone and $40 per tablet in 2010.

In a testimony by Apple patent licensing director Boris Teksler last Friday, he said that then-CEO Steve Jobs and then-COO Tim Cook approached Samsung about their smartphones and tablets, and were actually surprised “how a trusted partner would build a copycat product like that.”

In an October 5, 2010 presentation to Samsung, Apple offered to charge $30 per touchscreen smartphone and $40 per tablet for the use of its design patents. Apple likewise offered a 20% discount if Samsung were to cross-license its own design and technology portfolios back to Apple.

Given sales figures during that year involving Samsung’s Android, Windows Mobile and other OS phones, Apple said Samsung would have owed it about $250 million, which is a far cry from the $2.5 billion in damages that Apple is currently seeking. You can check out a copy of the Apple presentation via the Scribd link on the source citation.

Meanwhile, testimony be Apple’s experts also brought up additional Samsung internal studies that show how the Korean company often does a feature-by-feature comparison of Apple’s products with its own, and subsequently recommending to improve its smartphones by making them more like Apple’s. In response, Samsung has repudiated these claims by criticizing Apple’s experts’ authority on the matter.

Should Samsung have just gone ahead and licensed Apple’s patents in 2010? Would this have saved everyone a lot of headache — and a lot of money — from litigation-related efforts?

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