Apple’s on-going patent wars have made new developments. In the wake of the recent litigations with HTC, it appears that Apple has actually chosen to licence some of their patents to HTC. Needless to say, Samsung’s lawyers were following this case with great interest. They have since asked to be able to examine this new licensing agreement.
It is presumed, though uncertain, that at least two of the patents Apple was using in their case against HTC were also used in the case against Samsung. Consequently, if Apple has chosen to license these patents, they would have effectively given Samsung an opening to object to the way they were treated in their own case. During the case between Apple and Samsung, a key Apple witness solemnly stated that Apple would never licence these particular patents as a matter of policy. This would obviously not be the case if it turns out that they actually did licence these patents to one of their competitors.
Following their $1.05 billion loss to Apple, Samsung are using any strategy they can to either prevent Apple from successfully obtaining an injunction that would kick Samsung’s products off the American market. If it transpires that Apple is licensing these patents to HTC and the licence agreement stipulates that it covers “current and future patents”, Samsung should be able to successfully argue that Apple is not, in point of fact, suffering irreparable harm and should therefore be satisfied with just the monetary damages already paid.
“The HTC license bears directly on Apple’s assertion in its reply brief that ‘Apple considers these patents ‘unique to its user experience’ and unavailable for licensing, particularly to competitors,'” Samsung lawyers wrote in an email to Apple.
Apple has yet to reveal the details of this license agreement. This has lead Samsung to file a motion requesting that District Judge Lucy Koh compels Apple to do so.