Apple Offered iOS Scrolling Patent License to Samsung, Licensed By Nokia And IBM

News | Monday November 28 2011 8:26 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , , , ,

With all of the lawsuits that Apple has going, most of us have assumed that their patent policy is very territorial. The Verge has us rethinking that assumption, as they’ve pointed out that Apple has licensed its iOS scrolling patent to Nokia and IBM, and even offered it to Samsung.
Up to now, the general assumption about Apple was that it’s very territorial about its patents, especially ones concerned with “fundamental”
functionality/aesthetics, and that they’ve been conservative about licensing them to other companies. The Verge’s Nilay Patel has looked at the patent-jungle surrounding Apple and its rivals and has found that this is not the case.
. It outlines what happens when you scroll too far at the edge of something in iOS: you get a gray underlying background and then the main content bounces back to the edge. It’s a pretty iconic feature of the iOS experience.
The Verge has gotten a hold of a few redacted documents that show that this patent was licensed to IBM and Nokia.
For Nokia, this software license was part of the settlement of an infringement lawsuit (which also happened to HTC and Samsung). Samsung, on the other hand, did not accept the licensing offer, and that decision will have significant bearing in one of the lawsuits that is currently going on.
What we don’t know is how or why those November 2010 settlement negotiations fell apart: Apple could have been asking for exorbitant rates on a patent license, Samsung could have refused to pay because it thought the patents were invalid, or Jobs could have simply called the whole thing off…
Added to the list of unknowns is whether they’re still talking about a settlement at all. It’ll be interesting to see where the Samsung vs Apple patent war goes in light of all of this. It’s worth noting that the scroll-back patent was mentioned specifically in the case where 
.
As far as Apple ‘s patent licensing goes, Patel sums things up nicely here:
Offering up a distinctive software feature covered by a strong patent indicates a level of willingness to negotiate that we simply haven’t heard from Apple in the past – it’s a far cry from Steve Jobs telling his biographer that he was willing to go “thermonuclear war” on Google and Android OEMs for infringing Apple ‘s patents.

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