Microsoft licensed design patents at issue in Apple v Samsung, Surface lovers breathe sigh of relief

Last week, we found out about Apple's offer to license a bundle of IP -- including its iPhone and iPad design patents -- to Samsung back in 2010. Today, Reuters reports that Apple proposed a similar deal to Microsoft, and the folks in Redmond took them up on the offer. Details of the license itself are scarce, but the deal did, naturally, include an provision expressly prohibiting iDevice copies. So, for folks figuring that Microsoft might face a litigious future similar to Samsung's, think again. Looks like Ballmer and friends had the foresight to buy the rights to those rounded corners, edge-to-edge glass and black bezels on their forthcoming Surface tablets.