Apple agrees to show the heavily redacted HTC patent pact to Samsung

By , Nov 21, 2012

Samsung is more than welcome to take a peek inside Apple’s ten-year patent pact with the ailing handset maker HTC, but key data will be blanked out. South Korea-based Samsung last Friday filed a motion to compel, seeking to obtain the settlement and patent license agreement with HTC, saying it’s relevant to its patent battle with the iPhone maker.

As things stand now, a version Apple promised to provide will be marked as “Highly Confidential – Attorneys’ Eyes Only” and will contain 33 redacted words. Apple’s generosity knows no boundaries…

According to patent expert Florian Müeller, Samsung’s lawyers demand access to the full, unredacted document, with the royalty rates, numbers and everything.

“It’s obvious that HTC does not want its competitors to know about its cost structures”, Müeller writes.

Apple in its motion writes Samsung “offers no reason” why the royalty rates are relevant to Apple’s permanent injunction.

Samsung’s strategy is simple: it wants to pre-empt any injunctions against its products with the same patents Apple licensed to HTC as this would imply, in Samsung’s own words, “Apple’s willingness to forego exclusivity in exchange for money”.

“The world will never know the amount unless the full agreement is disclosed at some point, which is very unlikely to happen”, the patent expert opines.

Analysts estimated that the ten-year licensing agreement between Apple and HTC entails the former paying a royalty rate of $6-$8 per Android handset sold, or approximately $3 billion over the course of the agreement and given HTC’s current sales.

However, HTC CEO Peter Chou called this estimated “outrageous”, but stopped short of divulging the specifics, though he acknowledged his company is “very, very happy” with the settlement.

Wouldn’t you want to know the exact terms of Apple’s patent pact with HTC?

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