As Apple v. Samsung progresses, it's been known for some time that it didn't have to come to this: Apple had made overtures in the past toward the electronics giant in the past in an effort to secure a licensing deal that would cover patents it believed were being infringed, noting that Samsung is a "strategic supplier." In court documents released today, we now learn that Apple had a dollar figure in mind in an October 2010 meeting — it was proposing that Samsung pay a base rate of $30 per touchscreen phone (Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, and Bada alike) and $40 per tablet, decreasing to $30 over the course of two years. "Samsung should respond favorably," Apple's slide deck notes.
"Apple would have preferred that Samsung request a license to [create iPhone-like devices] in advance."
Apple also proposed a royalty discount structure based on a variety of factors, using the Windows Mobile-based Blackjack II as an example: QWERTY form factor would give a 20 percent discount, Apple patents that Microsoft had already licensed inside Windows Mobile would give another 40 percent, and a cross-licensing deal on Samsung's patents would be 20 percent — a grand total of an 80 percent discount in this particular case (granted, a Blackjack II doesn't bear much resemblance to an iPhone).
We don't have all the details, but somewhere along the line, negotiations obviously stalled — likely when it became clear that Apple would ask for a significant chunk from Samsung's entire smartphone and tablet portfolio. Otherwise, the companies wouldn't be locking horns in a California courtroom this month.