CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL - Get Report) does indeed license its patents, despite popular belief.

An article from AppleInsider shows that Apple has licensed one of the major patents from its iOS to competitors IBM ( IBM) and Nokia ( NOK). Samsung also was offered the agreement despite its ongoing legal battle with Apple.
Devices such as the iPad have ratcheted up patent issues between technology firms.

The patent -- "List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling, and Rotation on a Touch-Screen Display -- covers scrolling in iOS, Apple's mobile operating system on the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. It was cross-licensed to both IBM and Nokia, but Samsung never took the deal Apple offered in November 2010. The patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381, is part of a legal battle between Samsung and Apple. Apple has asked that Samsung's products stop being sold in certain markets.

The Cupertino-based company recently rejected an offer from Samsung to settle the patent dispute in Australia. Conversely, Apple recently lost a court case in a California court to have Samsung stop selling its products. Its request was denied.

Patents have become an issue in technology and especially in smartphones and tablets, as devices have many similarities. In Steve Jobs biography, written by Walter Isaacson, the former Apple CEO said he wanted to "destroy" Google's ( GOOG - Get Report) Android, as he saw it as a "stolen product." Jobs reportedly told former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, "I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want."

Technology companies are increasingly viewing patents as an asset, and a way to stave off competition. Additionally, some companies are using it as a way to make money. Eastman Kodak ( EK) is trying to sell off its patents to help stave off bankruptcy, while there was a bidding war for Nortel Network's patents.

Apple, along with a host of others, won a bid for the Nortel patents over a Google bid back in August. Additionally, Google purchased Motorola Mobility ( MMI - Get Report) for its patents and paid a hefty premium, some 40%, showcasing the importance patents have received in recent times.

Also, InterDigital ( IDCC - Get Report) has been rumored before as a potential acquisition target, because of its many patents to the "4G" network, the latest network from cell phone companies such as AT&T ( T), Verizon ( VZ) and Sprint Nextel ( S).

Apple shares were up 1.6% Monday to $395.77.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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