Apple and Microsoft's Licensing Pact Spells Out Cloning Taboo
August 14, 2012 1:24 PM
comment(s) - last by
Thou shalt not clone, says the legalese
It's common knowledge that when Microsoft Corp. (
) briefly stepped in to save the
train wreck that was Apple
, Inc. (
) in the mid-nineties, the pair cemented their bond with a
deep cross-licensing pact
which has been responsible for the relative peace between the pair in these hyper-litigious times. During the
copyright infringement trial
being held at the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
between Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) and Apple, that licensing relationship was the topic of some questions, questions that raised interesting details.
Apple patent licensing/strategy director Boris Teksler is quoted by
as testifying, "The Apple and Microsoft cross-license does cover the design patents. However, we took special prohibitions from both parties so there is what I term an 'anti-cloning' provision... so we couldn't copy each other's products. There's a clear acknowledgement that there's no copying."
The cross-licensing agreement covered both design (aesthetics) and utility (technology) patents worldwide.
[PDF] of that 1997 arrangement it then highlighted the passage that Mr. Teksler was talking about:
In other words, Apple and Microsoft won't sue each other for individual features (e.g.
swipe to unlock
, or bounce animations) or minor design details (e.g.
a rectangular smartphone
), but if either company feels the other is "slavishly copying" the entire comprehensive product, they could -- in theory, at least -- sue the other.
Is this interesting? Certainly.
How does it affect the Samsung v. Apple case? That is unclear. Apple clearly claims that Samsung "cloned" its products.
Apple claims Samsung "slavishly copied" its products. [Source:
David Paul Morris/Getty Images
But ultimately this testimony could be used against Apple if Samsung can establish that its smartphones/tablets are as different from the iPhone/iPad in design and user interface as Windows Phone 7 handsets and Windows tablets are from the iPhone/iPad. Because if the level of differences is similar, and it was enough to constitute "slavishly copying"/cloning, the question would be why Apple isn't suing Microsoft as well.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
8/16/2012 7:39:25 AM
Am I the only one who finds it rather humorous that Apple and a few various overzealous people that comment here make the claim that Samsung made their products to look like Apple's, and that people bought them thinking they were Apple products?
I mean, seriously, if that was the case, wouldn't there be a huge uprising by the people because everyone was buying 'fake' Apple products? There would be riots in the streets. People would be killing sales associates for selling them a Samsung product instead of an Apple product.
The truth is, that isn't the case. That really defeats much of the problem with this court case in my humble opinion.
The simple fact is that maybe they made it that color because it was aesthetically appealing? Even if they copied the color of the earbuds, icons, etc....who cares? That would be like Aquafina trademarking a clear container for holding water making it impossible for Fiji and other various vendors to sell water in a clear container. It's downright stupid.
The real problem here is that Apple enjoyed some huge success for a few years. Now they're playing second fiddle (again) and attempting the same crap they did in the 1990's, just with a different target. It's a sign that a company can't innovate their way out of a paper bag against competition. There is no imagination there anymore.
Just like everything else, history has a coy way of repeating itself over and over....
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
Samsung Shines Against Apple Design Expert, But Struggles w/ Embarrassing Doc
August 8, 2012, 2:08 PM
Samsung Product Chief Takes Issue With Apple "Owning" the Rectangle
July 31, 2012, 1:03 PM
Apple Patents Mobile Lists, Method to Make a Graphic Disappear; Plans More Suits
July 18, 2012, 2:40 PM
Tudor Brown Retiring After Propelling ARM to the Top of Mobile Market
November 12, 2011, 1:00 AM
Master of Unlocking: Apple Patents Swipe-to-Unlock Despite Prior Art
October 26, 2011, 3:27 PM
Reports: Snapchat is Now Worth $10B, Cofounders are Billionaires to Be
August 27, 2014, 9:30 AM
Tim Cook Says iPad Sales Have Merely Hit a Temporary “Speed Bump”
August 27, 2014, 9:16 AM
ZOTAC Announces Diminutive ZBOX PI320 pico
August 27, 2014, 9:00 AM
Verizon Wireless' VoLTE Service Tiptoes Closer to Launch
August 26, 2014, 3:21 PM
5.5” LG G3 Stylus to Make Its Debut at IFA 2014, Will Feature Budget Specs/Pricing
August 26, 2014, 9:00 AM
HTC Desire 820 to Set New High Bar for Mid-Range With Snapdragon 615
August 25, 2014, 3:07 PM
Most Popular Articles
New Photos Show “Assembled” iPhone 6, Protruding Camera Ring
August 20, 2014, 2:32 PM
Leaked Qualcomm Roadmap: 20 nm 64-bit Octacore Smartphone SoCs Cometh
August 20, 2014, 11:38 AM
Microsoft's Surface 2 Tablet Family Gets a $100 Price Cut
August 25, 2014, 1:16 AM
Report: Microsoft to Announce Windows 9 on September 30
August 21, 2014, 11:20 AM
From HULC to FORTIS: the Evolution of Lockheed Martin's Incredible Exosuit
August 22, 2014, 12:45 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information