Apple has approached Samsung and Motorola to ask for patent licensing fees of $5 to $15 per handset.That’s according to Dow Jones Newswire, which reports that Apple is not particularly interested in earning money from Android. It mainly wants to make Android more expensive for resellers.
This is exactly how Microsoft has been fighting Android for the last couple of years.
It found some patents, accused Android of infringing them, and then approached Android resellers for licence fees. A lot of Android resellers, including Samsung and HTC, paid up. Microsoft filed lawsuits against companies that refused, like Barnes & Noble and Motorola (which is soon becoming part of Google).
Microsoft probably doesn’t earn enough money from these licensing deals to move the needle for investors. But it did make Android somewhat more expensive than free.
More generally, this is usually how patent negotiating is done between big companies. When there’s a new industry — like smartphones — everybody races around with a sheaf of patents tucked behind their backs, looking to bluff and wheedle a few dollars out of competitors. Eventually, the rights all get resolved and the industry recovers. It happened with personal computing, it happened with mobile hardware, now it’s happening with smartphone software.
See also: REVEALED: How Giant Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures Does Business