As the dust clears on Apple and Samsung’s recent courtroom showdown, it’s become clear that the two companies were in talks for some time regarding a cross-licensing patent deal that would have avoided a trip to court entirely – but that these talks broke down when they failed to agree mutually agreeable terms.
Apple put forward an agreement that would have seen it license its patents to Samsung at a cost of around US$0.33 per device; in return Samsung would have applied the same principles in licensing its own “declared-essential patents” to Apple.
Boris Teskler, intellectual property licensing director at Apple, sent a letter outlining the arrangement to Seonwoo Kim, his counterpart at Samsung, on 30 April; this letter was made pubic this week after Judge Koh rejected the two companies’ request to keep legal documents sealed. The letter is principally composed of objections and arguments against Samsung’s contentions, but includes a proposition at the end.
“Apple is willing to license its declared-essential UMTS [Universal Mobile Telecommunications System] patents to Samsung on license terms that rely on the price of baseband chips as the FRAND royalty base, and a rate that reflects Apple’s share of the total declared UMTS-essential patents (and all patents required for standards for which UMTS is backward-compatible, such as GSM) – provided that Samsung reciprocally agrees to this same, common royalty base, and same methodological approach to royalty rate, in licensing its declared-essential patents to Apple,” the letter reads.
“Apple estimates that this approach, which implements the true meaning of and requirements imposed by FRAND, results in a $.33 (thirty-three cents) per unit royalty for the Apple patents.”
Apple requested a reply by 7 May, but if a response was supplied it hasn’t come to light. In any case no agreement was reached and the companies headed off for their showdown in the California courtroom.