Apple thinks Samsung should pay a royalty rate of $40 for every Android smartphone and tablet it sells for just five patents.
According to FOSS Patents the patents in question relate to phone number tapping, unified search, data synchronization, slide to unlock, and autocomplete. It’s worth noting that these patents don’t cover everything regarding the five features, though they cover enough to justify the lawsuit in Apple’s eye, and the court agreed to hear arguments regarding them. Samsung had four patents included in the case when it first came about in 2011, but three of its claims have since been dropped.
Apple is asking more for just five patents than it asked Samsung to pay to license its entire patent portfolio four years ago. Sometime in 2010, before this litigation began, the two companies met and Apple asked Samsung to pay $30 per device sold. Under that deal Samsung would have paid $40 for every tablet sold for two years, but again that’s for the whole patent portfolio and not just five patents.
In the last major court battle between the two companies Apple asked for much less for its patents. The most expensive patent in that lawsuit was the pinch-to-zoom API, which is now ruled invalid. At the time Apple asked for $3.10 per device for that patent. In this case it’s asking for an average of $8 per patent per device or more than double pinch-to-zoom.
If Apple gets the royalty rates it’s asking for, it’ll probably be the largest royalty rate any manufacturer has to pay for any device. Microsoft famously receives money from many Android phone manufacturers for every phone sold through patent licensing deals. But even those only amount to between $10 and $20 per device according to analysts.
The case is scheduled to go in front of Judge Lucy Koh on March 31.
Whether you like or dislike Samsung it’s hard to deny that Apple is going a bit overboard with the royalties it’s seeking. Does Apple’s decision to ask for so much for each patent change your opinion of the company? Or does it just reinforce your current opinion of it?