As Android OS start to overtake Apple iOS, patent experts are predicting that Apple could net billions of dollars by simply licencing their patented technology, instead of spending millions protecting it in law Courts around the world.
One of the obstacles appears to be the comments of Steve Jobs who said shortly before his death that Android was a “stolen product,” and indicated he was “willing to go thermonuclear war” to stop it.
Patent experts such as Kevin Rivette, managing partner at intellectual property firm 3LP Advisors, believes Apple could collect up to $10 in royalties for every Android device sold.
Apple Insider said that this would be twice the $5 per unit Microsoft is believed to receive for each HTC Android device sold.
Over time the aggressive legal approach taken by Apple to protect their patents could be detrimental to Apple shareholders claims Rivette who believes offending manufacturers will simply modify their infringing products and work around Apple’s intellectual property.
Rivette thinks Apple should reach settlements in cases where it can’t win import restrictions against competing devices.
“A scorched-earth strategy is bad news because it doesn’t optimize the value of their patents — because people will get around them,” Rivette told Bloomberg.
“It’s like a dam. Using their patents to keep rivals out is like putting rocks in a stream. The stream is going to find a way around. Wouldn’t it be better to direct where the water goes?”
Evidence of how Android smartphone makers will work around Apple’s intellectual property has come in a few cases already. Earlier this month, the U.S. International Trade Commission found that HTC was in violation of an Apple patent related to “Data Detectors,” but only a day later HTC said it was testing new devices that work around Apple’s patent.
As a result, the ITC’s ruling is not expected to have an immediate impact on either HTC or Apple.