Samsung is planning to ask a court that’s considering Apple’s request for a sales ban of Samsung’s Android smartphones and tablets to force Apple to reveal the deal it recently reached with HTC, according to a Reuters report.
Although terms of that deal have not been released, analysts believe that HTC is paying Apple between $6 and $8 per Android phone in exchange for Apple licensing its iPhone and iPad patents. At that rate, Apple stands to collect between $160 million to $200 million each year, based on HTC’s current shipping volumes.
An agreement with Samsung would be much more lucrative, perhaps $1.5 billion each year, but Samsung has made it fairly clear that it is more interested in fighting than in paying. Or at least, it appeared to do so.
This, however, is a sign that perhaps Samsung does have some interest in negotiating — but with its eyes open, knowing what HTC is already paying. Or it is simply a tactic to avoid a sales ban in the U.S., since courts are generally reluctant to solve infringement issues with a complete ban when a licensing agreement is at least in theory possible.
My guess is that much of the tech world is now hoping that Samsung is successful in its attempt, as the HTC agreement would reveal precisely how much Apple values its patents and doubtless other interesting and until-now private information about Apple, its business dealings, and its licensing strategy.
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