This whole Apple vs. Samsung thing didn’t have to happen in a court room.
Over two years ago, in fact, Apple — now the plaintiff in one of the highest-profile patent cases ever — offered the Korean company a royalty-based license program for its various (allegedly) infringing wares. Even as Apple historically shies away from licensing out any part of its “non-essentials” patent portfolio, the iPhone and iPad maker made an exception.
According to AllThingsD, the two companies met in 2010 after Samsung launched its iPhone-esque Galaxy S handset, and Apple opened discussions thus:
Samsung chose to embrace and imitate Apple’s iPhone archetype. Apple would have preferred that Samsung request a license to do this in advance. Because Samsung is a strategic supplier to Apple, we are prepared to offer a royalty-bearing license for this category of device.
The price Apple proposed would have cost Samsung $30 per smartphone and $40 per tablet, well under current estimates of what the software patents in question are actually worth. Apple even offered to give Samsung a 20-percent discount should the rival manufacturer enter into a cross-licensing agreement.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung thought the proposed value of Apple’s portfolio was unrealistic, and further negotiations were abandoned.
Here’s the kicker: If Samsung had simply played ball, it would’ve only cost them around $554 million (at a rate of roughly $250 million per year). That’s a big chunk of change to be sure, but when you consider that Samsung made $5.9 billion in profits last quarter alone, said premium seems much more affordable. Indeed, for about $63 million per quarter (or 1.05 percent of its quarterly haul), all this unpleasantness could’ve been avoided.
Instead, Samsung’s being sued for $2.5 billion.
And they’re probably going to lose.