Samsung wants to take a peek inside Apple’s patent settlement with HTC

By , Nov 16, 2012

Always on the lookout to possibly improve its legal position in the ongoing stand-off with Apple, Samsung on Friday filed a court order seeking to force Apple to turn over a copy of the HTC agreement. As Cody told you, Apple and HTC settled litigation with a ten-year licensing agreement worth nearly $3 billion.

Neither company has released the specifics of the deal, leaving Samsung to wonder whether the agreement includes the famous iPhone software features that Apple successfully asserted against Samsung. You know, the stuff like rubber-band scrolling, pinch zoom and other iPhone perks…

Samsung’s bet is that if these prized patents are part of Apple’s deal with HTC, it undermines Apple’s efforts to seek ban on the sale of Samsung products on the grounds of those same patents.

Reuters has the story:

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which could face such a sales ban following a crushing jury verdict against it in August, now plans to ask a U.S. judge to force Apple to turn over a copy of the HTC agreement, according to a court filing on Friday.

Watchers think it would be very unusual if the HTC deal did not include all the patents. And by giving the ailing Android maker access to prized iPhone patents, conventional wisdom has it, Samsung would find itself in a position where as a market leader it would be unable to offer the same level of user experience as HTC, which is struggling with sales and quarterly losses.

The story notes that judges “are reluctant to block the sale of products if the dispute can be resolved via a licensing agreement”.

Apple lawyers said during the massive Apple v. Samsung trial that the iPhone maker is unwilling to license patents that cover Apple’s unique user experience, including touchscreen functionality and design.

Apple only licensed those holy patents to Microsoft, with whom it signed an anti-cloning agreement as part of the deal. One of the prized patents was also licensed to Nokia and IBM.

In opposing Apple’s injunction request last month, Samsung said Apple’s willingness to license at all shows money should be sufficient compensation, court documents show.

In a court filing last week, Apple argued that its Nokia, IBM and Microsoft deals shouldn’t stand in the way of an injunction. Microsoft’s license only covers Apple patents filed before 2002, and IBM signed several years before the iPhone launched, according to Apple.

Of course, it’s entirely plausible that Apple’s licensing agreement with HTC does not include those key patents, which could indicate that CEO Tim Cook is taking a different approach to litigation than his predecessor Steve Jobs.

Cook noted as much when he shared his view of Android litigation as a “necessary evil“.

What do you think?

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  • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

    Apple really hates Samsung, it seems like they are able to agree with majority of everyone else but something about Samsung is really irritating them. Between the Samsung Series 5,Svoice and there new retail store I can kind of understand why Apple and Samsung are incapable of forming an agreement. Which sucks because billions of dollars will be thrown in the trash when it could be spent on innovation or expanding infrastructure etc….

    • macboy74

      This^^

    • mahadragon

      Because Samsung spent so much money innovating in the first place right? If you look at Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 it’s obvious Samsung copies the look and feel of iPhone. I own a Galaxy S2 and I was surprised at how similar it is to iPhone alarm clock, weather app, dock at bottom with popular apps seated at bottom, etc. How do you think Samsung got so far so fast? In 2007 the iPhone was the only smartphone that had a combination of a touch screen, sleek design, camera, and App Store. Fast forward 3 years later and everyone has those features. In 2007 Blackberry was the number one smartphone maker with their built-in keyboard and email app. Today Blackberry is irrelevant. Why? Because they didn’t copy Apple.

      • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

        Just to correct you when the iPhone first came out there was no App Store .. That was 6 months later when the 3G came out and iOS 2 and that was 2008… But your right about the rest though

      • MagicDrumSticks

        It’s like this for everything. By your argument, the only cars that should still be available for sale should be by ford because they invented the car right?

        Don’t be so naive. Apple had a chance to wow with the iPhone 5 but they because greedy and failed.

      • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

        Ford made the first car WTF where did you get that from..
        Karl Benz made the first modem car in 1886.. But before that there was steam power cars and the such .. But it wasn’t no ford…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.liu.7503 Jonathan Liu

    I heard the iGalaxy 5 is coming out.