Taking the licensing approach, Microsoft has deals worked out with HTC, Samsung, ACER and Viewtronics while still fighting Motorola Mobility and Barnes and Noble in court.
To license its patents, Apple would have to go against the decision made by its late co-founder Steve Jobs. Jobs wanted to go to war against Android, which he considered a stolen product. Before Jobs died, he told biographer Walter Isaacson that he had no intention of licensing Apple patents to Android manufacturers. This hard line, essentially an emotional decision by Jobs, could hurt Apple's finances as those producing Android devices are now working around the patents in question. That would eliminate the lawsuits and also prevent Apple from receiving any royalties.
For example, earlier in December the ITC ruled that HTC had violated an Apple patent relating to data detectors. The next day, HTC said it had a way to work around Apple's patent which made the legal battle moot and a legal ruling which onm its face would seem to harm HTC is actually worthless. At the same time, in Germany, Samsung re-designed the Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 tablet and the new Galaxy Tab 10.1N should help the Korean firm avoid a ban on the tablet. In both cases, had Apple simply sat down and worked out a licensing agreement with HTC and Samsung, it could have produced some hefty revenue for the company. Instead, Apple might have to settle for nothing.
source:Bloomberg via AndroidInsider