Samsung and Apple are involved in one of the most heated design patent lawsuits of all time. Samsung has smartphones and tablets that look similar to the iPhone and iPad. Microsoft has been able to avoid any potential lawsuits by licensing design patents from Apple. Microsoft has launched a new tablet called the Surface, which has features that are similar to the iPad and the Windows Phone has some iPhone similarities also.
During the Apple-Samsung trial, an Apple executive revealed that the company had licensed “prized design patents” to Microsoft with an “anti-cloning agreement” to prevent copying of the iPhone and iPad. The patents that were licensed are not specified. The executive said “there’s peace to each other’s products; there’s a clear acknowledgement that there’s no cloning.”
You can tell by looking at Microsoft’s user interface that it is not cloned. Windows Phone and Windows 8 on tablets have big and colorful tiles that are “live.” The tiles constantly change information.
Apple has sued Android manufacturers for copyright design features. Microsoft has separately sued Android manufacturers specifically to collect royalties from every Android device that is sold in order to avoid a patent lawsuit from them.