Apple has licensed iOS hardware design patents to Microsoft with special “anti-cloning” provisions

In today’s court hearing about Apple Vs. Samsung lawsuit, Apple’s patent licensing director Boris Teksler told the court that Apple has a cross license agreement with the tech giant Microsoft covering the design patents at issue in this case. These patents Teksler noted have a special provision about anti-cloning to prevent Microsoft from creating copies of Apple iPhone and iPad, and to avoid legal battle like the company is currently having with Samsung.

Teksler didn’t reveal which patents has his company licensed to Microsoft, but we know as a fact that these could only be hardware related patents, as Apple is not willing to license the patents covering iPhone’s interface.

AllThingsD writes

Teksler noted that Apple and Microsoft have a cross-license agreement that does cover the design patents at issue in this case, but said that there are also special “anti-cloning” provisions in the agreement between those two companies. “We couldn’t copy each other’s products,” Teksler said.

Although it was not revealed what Microsoft devices are using those Apple patents practically, but we cannot help but speculate that Microsoft is using the patents it has licensed from Apple in its Surface tablet that runs Windows 8. Microsoft Surface has design similarities with the Apple iPad, but at the same time looks different from it in many ways.

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