In a move that would surely have Steve Jobs — the man willing to go thermonuclear war against Android — rolling over in his grave, Apple has apparently offered licensing deals to Samsung and Motorola in an attempt to settle ongoing and future patent suits. According to sources speaking with Dow Jones Newswires, Apple has offered licensing deals in the tune of $5 to $15 per device or the equivalent of 1% to 2.5% of net sales per device. Interestingly enough, these fees are on par with what Apple deemed “unreasonable” after attempts to license patents from Motorola.
Why now? Why is Apple changing strategy in the middle of a war Jobs vowed to spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right? It’s possible Apple is reconsidering the ramifications of burning its bridges, or perhaps some of the court losses are making Apple nervous about having their own products taken off shelves. With Android being spread across a multitude of devices and having a vast array of differences among versions, these lawsuits are becoming cumbersome while providing lackluster results. With Apple only having a few products, any injunction imposed against them would be crippling. Let’s not forget the possible onslaught coming from Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility and their portfolio of patents.
Regardless of the underlying reasons for Apple’s sudden change in strategy, we’re hoping these licensing talks result in deals that will benefit all parties, that way these companies can get back to innovating instead of litigating. I would’t hold my breath though.