updated 02:55 pm EST, Tue March 6, 2012
Apple may not pursue all lawsuits to end point
Apple is willing to end its legal action against Motorola and Samsung if they agree to take royalties, a discovery on Tuesday uncovered. Multiple sources for the Dow Jones understood that, in one case, it was asking between $5 to $15 per phone, or up to 2.5 percent of its net sales. Unlike Microsoft, however, it wasn't interested in using the patents as key source of income, just ending each case with an agreement that others were using its technology.
It wasn't clear to the contacts if Apple was actively negotiating settlements, but it was part of an "ongoing process." They suggested that Apple might be more likely to try for a settlement, partly as there was now no way to completely exclude Android from the market. Royalties would raise the cost of using Android and might discourage its use without the all-or-nothing strategy used before.
The royalty rate asked hasn't been confirmed, but wouldn't necessarily be excessive. While Motorola has been criticized for demanding a compensation for poor sales of its own platform, Apple began its lawsuits under the late Steve Jobs in what's believed to be a sincere ideological battle. The co-founder saw Android as copying heavily and wanted its code changed or banned outright, even if it saw Apple burn through cash. Jobs is known to have lashed out at Eric Schmidt in what many have taken to be a sense of being personally betrayed by the then-CEO of Google.
While current Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed a view that he welcomed competition as long as it was using its own technology, he has never expressed the public anger towards Android shown by his predecessor. Although it remains speculative, many have interpreted this as a sign he would be more willing to settle and put lawsuits behind the company.
Motorla and Samsung haven't commented on the possible leaks.