Details of a secret agreement between Apple and its partners have surfaced recently, following the disclosure of court documents during Apple and Samsung's legal battle.
TheVerge managed to get its hands on some court files and published an intriguing story about the behind the scenes licensing deals. According to the report, Nokia and IBM paid Apple for the rights to "List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling, and Rotation on a Touch-Screen Display", also known as U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381.
The patent covers the scrolling on iOS devices, in which a background texture is displayed while the user scrolls beyond the end of a document or a website. The same patent is one of the reasons Apple asked for Samsung devices to be banned from sale, but with limited success; only last week a California court denied Apple's request for an injunction.
Within the case filing it emerged that Apple had offered a license on the patent in question to Samsung in November last year during the settlement negotiations. At that time Samsung didn't take up the patent license, as IBM and Nokia decided to do, though it's unsure why the negotiations fell through.
Still, the episode shows that Apple does have a softer side and is prepared to compromise, rather than just opting the 'thermonuclear war' (that Steve Jobs promised) in its patent disputes.