Apple Licenses iOS Design Patents To Microsoft
In what will surely turn a few heads, Microsoft has licensed iOS design patents from Apple, talk about unexpected. The agreement was announced by Apple's Director of Patent Licensing and Strategy, Boris Teksler, with Apple still locked in its legal struggle with Samsung, with a Reuters reporter commenting on the "anti-cloning" agreement. Meanwhile, Ian Sherr, who reports for the Wall Street Journal among others, went into greater detail stating that the iOS design patents are covered in a cross-licensing agreement between both companies. From appearances it looks like Apple wishes to avoid another potentially awkward lawsuit, much like the time Apple tried to sue Microsoft for allegedly copying the Lisa and Mac OS interfaces and lost. That and Apple probably already has its hands full with Samsung at the moment, so this agreement mostly looks to serve as a way to avoid potential future headaches for both companies involved. Regardless it's not every day you see Apple and Microsoft enter into a cross-licensing patent agreement.
Cloning is at the heart of the current lawsuit, since Samsung is accused of copying some iOS design traits in its Android-based devices. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs infamously called Android "stolen," and promised to go to "thermonuclear war" over the issue. Microsoft appears to have consciously avoided mimicking iOS in versions of Windows made for phones and tablets.
Posted by | Tue, Aug 14, 2012 - 12:06 PM