Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) had Entered into Cross-Licensing Arrangements

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had entered into patent licensing arrangements with Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT), it was revealed at the trial between Apple and Samsung.

The Cupertino company had licensed some of its designs and features to the world's largest software company with the specific proviso that it would not clone or copy it in any way.

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However the patents licensed ere not the same ones that are now under dispute between Apple and Samsung, the former's patent licensing director Boris Teksler said on court.

Details about the licensing arrangement between the iPhone maker and Microsoft were however not disclosed publicly as it has been decided to keep cross-licensing deals out of the public domain to protect companies from weakened positions in future negotiations.

The news about the cross-licensing arrangements between the two companies has had the analyst community speculating that had Samsung and Apple entered into similar arrangement then the whole dispute would not have come about.

Apple is suing Samsung alleging that it has copied the designs of its iPads, iPhones for its mobile devices that have made it the largest selling smartphone company in the world.

Cross-licensing deals between companies are very sensitive and have several riders attached to them. For instance, both Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs had entered into an agreement long back that they would not compete with each other on certain areas.

Both Microsoft and Apple also have strong Intellectual Property Rights and technology innovation and so far they have refrained from stepping on each other’s toes though both are competitors in several areas, most notably in desktop computing.

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Analysts will be on the lookout for Microsoft’s Surface Tablets to watch for possible design differences or similarities with the iPad.
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