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Samsung Gets Copy of Apple-HTC Deal

Apple said it didn’t care if Samsung got it but deferred to HTC, which said it didn’t care either

Late Wednesday right before Thanksgiving Day Apple was ordered to turn over a copy of its recent 10-year licensing deal with HTC - the one that ended all litigation between them - to Samsung.

Apple said it didn't care if Samsung got it but deferred to HTC, which said it didn't care either, but wanted the publicly undisclosed royalties blacked out because HTC and Samsung compete against each other. HTC of course is understood to be paying Apple.

Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal said he didn't think Samsung could get very much out of knowing the royalties because "the licensing fees with HTC are relevant to the degree of consumer demand for Apple's patented features" but obliged Samsung anyway with an unredacted copy of the settlement including the fees so his disclosure decisions involving third parties would all be consistent.

Only Samsung's outside counsel can have access to the pact.

Samsung is trying to figure out a way to shoot down Apple's bid to enjoin the US sales of its widgets permanently when they meet in court again on December 6 to sort out the jury verdict awarding Apple $1.05 billion in damages because of Samsung's patent infringement.

Samsung claims the HTC "settlement agreement undermines Apple's assertion that an injunction is a more appropriate remedy than money damages."

Two years ago Apple proposed that Samsung pay $30 per handset and $40 per tablet and offered a 20% discount if the Korean company signed a cross-license.

Foss Patents has reproduced the parts of the HTC license cut in November that have been made public.

It terminates automatically if control of HTC changes hands. It also terminates the US lawsuits without prejudice so they can be refiled (presumably if HTC is sold). And it seems that VIA Technologies, the little chipmaker that was also suing Apple, entered into a separate but simultaneous settlement agreement with Apple.

The blog says, "many observers always viewed VIA's patent assertions against Apple as part of HTC's countersuing activity, given an important overlap at the company owner level."

See www.fosspatents.com/2012/11/apple-htc-license-agreement-would.html.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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