Apple Licensing iOS Design Patents To Microsoft

Certain elements of the Apple iOS design patent will soon show up in Microsoft devices after the two company’s arriving at a licensing agreement on Monday. The announcement comes at a time when Apple is battling Samsung over certain elements of the designs found within smartphone and tablet devices.

The new licensing agreement was revealed to Reuters by way of Boris Teksler, Apple’s director of patent licensing and strategy. According to Teksler the agreement including an “anti-cloning” clause.

Apple will also receive Microsoft patents as part of the cross-licensing agreement setup by the tech firms.

Ian Sherr, a reporter for Dow Jones Microsoft notes that Microsoft has been making a conscious effort to avoid design accusations versus Apple on both the tablet and smartphone front.

Apple and Microsoft have fought over patent issues in the past, most famously during the Mac OS lawsuit filed by Apple in which the company claimed Microsoft had stolen Apple’s idea for a visual OS. A judge in that case eventually found that Apple had copied work first completed by Xerox, thereby negating the lawsuit against Microsoft.

Before passing away Steve Jobs re-iterated how far Apple would go to attack competitors, calling Android “stolen” and noting that Apple would go “thermonuclear” against Google.

Specific details regarding the Apple-Microsoft cross-licensing agreement have not been revealed in full.

Do you think more cross-licensing agreements will come about now that patent lawsuits are more common than the actual tech company’s release on a regular basis?