updated 09:40 pm EST, Sat December 3, 2011
Leak reveals Samsung had rejected Apple offer
Apple had made an olive branch license to Samsung for a patent that the Korean company turned down, a discovery within redacted court documents found on Saturday. Normally unavailable, the details given to The Verge showed that Apple in November 2010 offered the same license for its iOS scrolling feedback patent that it ultimately secured with IBM and Nokia. As a cornerstone of iOS' intuitiveness, it showed Apple willing to make a significant concession to Samsung first before it turned to the court.
The same patent has been used to sue HTC and, before a cross-licensing deal, Nokia. As the court would later agree with Apple that Samsung was likely violating the patent without a license, Apple didn't have to make the offer knowing that it might win in court regardless.
It's unclear as a result why the negotiations stopped. Apple may have tried what it's accusing Samsung of doing, or asking too high a fee per device. However, Samsung may also have either sincerely believed that it could persuade a court it was innocent or else might have been willing to gamble that its 3G patent countersuits would force Apple to strike a better deal.
For many, the negotiation would appear to contract Apple's philosophy towards the lawsuits, which has been more ideological than the primarily money-oriented complaints of companies like Microsoft. Late CEO Steve Jobs had vowed to "destroy" Android in the view that it was fundamentally copied from the iPhone. The same executive was nonetheless known to have offered a deal on the phone first before the lawsuits began, suggesting that he at least wanted to meet Samsung at a halfway point.