According to a new report by FOSS Patents, Apple is insisting on an anti-cloning provision as part of any patent settlement with Samsung. The provision would then allow Apple to still bring lawsuits if Samsung’s products resembled Apple’s offerings too closely in ways that could actually be “avoided by means of designarounds”.
No matter how much Samsung may hate the notion of an anti-cloning provision, since cloning has been the company’s main strategy that enabled it to become the global market leader in smartphones, a deal with Apple will only come into being if the Korean tech-giant accepts this. Furthermore, Apple is arguing that Samsung’s infringement of three multi-touch software patents must come to an end, which Samsung, obviously opposes.
In a sworn declaration of January 16, 2014, Apple’s BJ Watrous, Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, told the United States District Court for the Northern District of California that Apple’s “discussions with Samsung have consistently included limits to both the scope of any license and a prohibition against cloning Apple products.”
On that basis, Apple’s lawyers wrote on the same day: “Samsung incorrectly claims that Apple made recent offers to Samsung without anti-cloning provisions. Every offer Apple made to Samsung has included limits to both the scope of any license and a prohibition against cloning Apple products.”
Apple has exercised the anti-cloning provision in the past with Microsoft as well. While licensing some of its patents to Microsoft, Apple revealed that it had included a specific anti-cloning provision to prevent copying of of each other’s products.