Apple and Microsoft secret licensing deal revealed in court

Shaking hands

Apple and Microsoft have cross-licensed their mobile technologies, with the proviso that Microsoft do not clone' the look and feel of iOS devices, a Californian court has heard.

The revelation is the latest twist to come out of the Apple vs Samsung court case, in which the tech titan accuses the Korean manufacturer of infringing key design patents relating to the look and feel of its mobile devices.

Apple had offered a similar non-cloning' deal to Samsung in 2010, but negotiations failed.

"There was no right, with respect to these design patents, to build clones of any type," Boris Teksler, Apple's director of patent licensing &strategy, told the court in San Jose.

Teksler also said Apple had offered a similar non-cloning' deal to Samsung in 2010, but negotiations failed. It is understood that patents relating to what he termed "unique user experience" were not part of that offer.

The fact that Apple has engaged in licensing agreements relating to its mobile devices first emerged on 10 August, however no companies were named until 13 of the month. During that testimony, Teksler outlined how rare it is for Apple to offer patent licensing agreements, saying he could count the number of instances "on one hand".

The two sides are expected to make their closing statements next week, after which time it will fall to the jury to decide whether Samsung has indeed infringed Apple's patents or not.

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.