Another day in the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement trial has brought to light interesting information about Microsoft.

According to Reuters, a key Apple executive testified that the company has licensed some its design patents to Microsoft. But there is a big catch. The companies have an “anti-cloning agreement” in place to protect the iPhone and iPad.

Boris Teksler, Apple’s patent licensing director, said that the agreement between the two companies does cover the patents that are the central issue of Apple’s case against Samsung.

Teksler said the agreement was consistent with Apple’s strategy because Microsoft was prohibited from building direct copies of the iPad or iPhone:

“There was no right with respect to these design patents to build clones of any type,” Teksler said.

Along with protecting Microsoft from copying the iOS devices, the agreement also is reciprocal in that Apple isn’t allowed to copy any of Microsoft’s products.

This comes on the heels of information late last week that Apple also tried to come to a licensing agreement with Samsung over the same patents in 2010 after the Galaxy S handset was launched.

Apple proposed $30 for every smartphone and $40 for every tablet that Samsung sells. But, obviously, Samsung refused and the two tech titans continue to battle it out in a California courtroom.

For its part, Microsoft unveiled its iPad competitor, Surface, in mid-June. Expected to hit shelves with Windows 8 sometime later this year, the success of the tablet depends strongly on whether it can compete with the iPad in price.

The trial is ongoing, and we’ll keep you up to date with any more interesting news. Feel free to take a look at all of our previous coverage.

Source: Reuters