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Samsung case reveals that Apple has licensed iOS design patents to Microsoft


During testimony today by Apple director of patent licensing and strategy Boris Teksler at the Apple vs. Samsung trial, it was revealed that in the past, the company has licensed some iOS design patents to Microsoft. The deal, which apparently also encompasses an "anti-cloning" agreement, covers the design patents under a cross-licensing deal between Redmond and Cupertino. Teksler's testimony, relayed by AllThingsD, pointed out that Apple and Microsoft agreed not to copy each other's products.

The two companies wanted to avoid a situation like the one that Apple is embroiled in with Samsung, which is accused of copying some iOS design features outright. Electronista notes that "Microsoft appears to have consciously avoided mimicking iOS in versions of Windows made for phones and tablets."

It's good to see that Apple and Microsoft are working hard to avoid any future legal battles, as the companies had a history of courtroom skirmishes over the Mac and Lisa OS interfaces in the past.

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