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Microsoft Has Apple Rights Samsung Snubbed
Microsoft’s rights to Apple design and feature patents may derive from a cross-license the companies signed in 1997

Microsoft holds rights to Apple patents that are broader than the deal Apple was willing to cut with Samsung in 2010 but they're circumscribed by a "no cloning" provision.

Apple's patent licensing and strategy director Boris Teksler said so Monday in the Apple v Samsung trial in California.

Microsoft's rights to Apple design and feature patents may derive from a cross-license the companies signed in 1997. Teksler didn't say if the pact was updated or new, given Microsoft's coming adventure in tablets, how long it runs or whether money is involved.

Last week District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who's hearing the Apple-Samsung case, ordered that details of any and all licensing arrangements be sealed.

"The public release of such information would place these third-parties in a weakened bargaining position in future negotiations, thereby giving their customers and competitors a significant advantage," she said.

Teksler told the jury last week when his testimony began that he could count on one hand the companies that had licenses to Apple's product designs.

Apple didn't offer them to Samsung because negotiations never got that far along. "We were clear we weren't offering a license to everything," Teksler said. "We had yet to discuss some what we termed ‘untouchables,' if you will."

Unlike the iPad Microsoft's Windows 8 tablets don't use icons and have a kickstand.

Apple rested its case Monday afternoon. Now Samsung gets its turn. It lost a bid for summary judgment. The judge is hopeful the case will go to the jury next Tuesday.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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