Apple willing to license certain patents – and what it really means.

There’s a new story out today, that Apple is finally willing to license some of it’s patents to rival phone makers Samsung and Motorola.

Lot’s of “OMG! Steve is turning in his grave!” is going on, as seen on Cult of Android.

A quote:

According to sources speaking with Dow Jones Newswires, Apple has offered licensing deals in the tune of $5 to $15 per device or the equivalent of 1% to 2.5% of net sales per device. Interestingly enough, these fees are on par with what Apple deemed “unreasonable” after attempts to license patents from Motorola.

Wait, what? OMG! Steve will rise!

Except, he won’t, because what the article, and basically all of them on the web, fails to mention is that Apple is not talking about FRAND patents. It’s talking about licensing, if the whole thing is even true, it’s innovations. Innovations require R&D. R&D is expensive.
Standards are a totally different ballgame. You license your patents to standards bodies to make them available to anyone on fair terms, because they are essential to the operation of a product, say a smart phone.
“Regular” patents are not essential, but in this case, can cripple the user experience.
So no, it’s not fair to compare Motorola’s demand to Apple’s offer. Apple is offering it’s patents on terms like Microsoft has been doing it for Adroid handset makers for years. Motorola demands that Apple pay ludicrous amounts of money for standards, something no other maker of smart phones has to do. That’s why the EU launched an investigation.

I can’t believe that anyone would even come up with a comparison like that. Good work there, Vincent Messina.

Edit: FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller seems to agree.


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