Following a report from Bloomberg in December featuring advice from analysts, we asked you if Apple should settle for up to a $10 royalty per Android device and not keep paying its lawyers to fight patent disputes. Today, Dow Jones Newswiresreports that Apple is interested in seeking settlements. According to the report, Apple “indicated a willingness to cut deals with competitors,” including Motorola and Samsung:
The consumer-electronics company has put forth proposals to Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930.SE, SSNHY) to settle some pending litigation in exchange for royalty payments to license its patents, among other terms, these people said. This is not a new tactic; Apple had some discussions with companies such as Samsung before initiating litigation… Apple isn’t attempting to offer patent licenses to all its competitors or create a royalty business, one person familiar with the matter said.
The report continued claiming Apple is requesting between a $5 and $15 royalty per device in at least one negotiation, but said the company does not want to “create a royalty business” and is not open to discussing settlements with all competitors. It suggested the settlements would seem to go against Steve Jobs’ desire to “spend every penny” destroying Android. Speaking with Bloomberg in December, former Vice President of IP Strategy at IBM Kevin Rivette of 3LP Advisors suggested Apple should seek license agreements to “lock down supply chains” and focus on innovation:
“If I’m Apple, I want divided loyalties [from Android licensees]. At this point, it would make more sense for Apple to build an ecosystem that everyone can live in. If you’re going to license, why not go for the big deal where you lock down supply chains, get your technologies broadly adopted and slow down competitors? That is the game.”