While some manufactures turned down any licensing agreements with Apple, one other, namely Microsoft, did not.
Another interesting bit of information regarding the licensing of Apple’s design patents came from the Apple v Samsung case today (via iDownload Blog): Microsoft and Apple struck a licensing deal on many of the same patents Samsung is being sued for today. The news came when Apple licensing director took the stand in court in San Jose today and revealed the somewhat shocking news.
Apple’s licensing deal with Microsoft isn’t similar to what was offered to Samsung though. Instead of asking for royalties (you really can’t on a device that doesn’t yet exist), Apple simply signed an “anti-cloning” agreement with Microsoft. What does this mean? Microsoft can make devices that may or may not resemble an Apple product without fear of litigation, as long as the device does not look like a clone of any Apple devices currently on the market. Fortunately for Microsoft, and unlike Samsung’s Touchwiz, their new Metro UI looks nothing like Apple’s famed iOS.