New Court Docs Reveal Apple’s Patent Licensing Royalty Demands

Samsung Apple Patent Licensing Royalty

It was revealed last month during the patent litigation between Apple and Samsung that the Korean electronics company wanted a 2.4 percent royalty rate for licensing its patents to Apple, a number that Apple categorized as “multiple times more” than Apple paid other patentees for licenses to their standards-essential patents. Now new court documents reveal how much Apple wanted Samsung to pay for licensing its patents: approximately 5 percent.

The information, revealed by court filings Friday, was provided by internal Apple documents dating back to late 2010. In an October 2010 document titled “Samsung-Apple Licensing Discussion,” Apple noted that, despite the fact that Samsung had “embrace[d]” and imitate[d]” the iPhone “archetype,” the Cupertino company sought to license its patents fairly due to the important supplier relationship that existed between the two companies.

While never finalized, nor obviously accepted by Samsung, Apple’s document outlines a licensing cost of $30 per Samsung handset and $40 per tablet, covering Apple patented technology in all Samsung devices running Android, Symbian, Bada, and Windows Mobile.

With an unsubsidized price of about $600 per handset, a $30 royalty would equate to about 5 percent. However, Apple’s document also mentioned a possible 20 percent discount if Samsung agreed to cross-license its patents to Apple. Further, Apple stated that it would be wiling to consider another “level of discount” if Samsung would stop using Apple’s most proprietary features, which were not defined in the document. Such an agreement, as evidenced by the ongoing, costly legal battle between the two companies, never came to be.

Of note, another filing released Friday included an internal Samsung survey of 30 people which examined how successfully they could perform certain tasks on a Samsung prototype phone when compared to the iPhone. 41 percent could successfully send an email using Samsung’s phone, compared to 59 percent using the iPhone. Additionally, only 33 percent could access an application’s menu screen on the Samsung phone, compared to, again, 59 percent on the iPhone.

The trial between Apple and Samsung in California began in late July and is still ongoing. Apple has nearly completed its witness phase of the trial. This week, Samsung is expected to introduce its own witnesses.

[via The Wall Street Journal]