Apple Patent Lawsuit Against Google's Motorola Dismissed

A U.S. district court judge has dismissed Apple's patent case against Google-owned Motorola Mobility.

Judge Barbara Crabb threw the case out, subsequently resulting in Apple having to successfully appeal against her decision to revive the case; the firm can't refile the lawsuit through another district court.

Apple filed the lawsuit against Motorola Mobility during the March of 2011, with the latter demanding 2.25 percent of all net sales on iOS products that utilizes essential industry standard patents. Businesses who own essential industry patents are expected to offer them under licensing terms that are FRAND: "fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory".

The iPhone creator accused Motorola of seeking excessive royalty payments for its patents related to Wi-Fi technology and video streaming.

Apple had been progressing towards victory against Motorola until last week, when the latter filed a motion that would require the former to accept whatever amount the court decided was a fair royalty rate.

It decided, however, to dismiss the motion by stressing it would only agree to a court-determined rate should the rate not exceed $1 per iPhone sale.

 

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  • Solandri
    bustaprCan somebody clear that up? my bad if the question is annoying. what happened to the license motorola wanted?

    Google for patent royalty rates. You'll find they're typically 5%-25% of the sale price of the product. For "essential" patents they're typically 1%-3% (not per patent, per pool of patents held by a company). I did about 5 minutes of googling and 30 minutes of reading which came up with the above numbers. When GSM first came out, about 30%-40% of the cost of a handset was patent royalties. For LTE, the total royalties work out to about 14% of the price of the handset.
    http://www.investorvillage.com/uploads/82827/files/LESI-Royalty-Rates.pdf

    When Google bought Motorola, one of the conditions for government approval of the deal was that Motorola had to license its patents under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND). That meant their royalty rates had to be reasonable, and the same for all companies who wished to license. Motorola has been asking 2.25% of all comers for its patents.

    Motorola asked Apple for 2.25% for its set of patents on wireless communications, less if Apple were willing to cross-license. Apple said it shouldn't be based on the price of the handset. They wanted $1 per handset max (about 0.2%), no cross-licensing, and no liability for their past patent violations (apparently Apple has refused to license since the first iPhone). Motorola said no, 2.25%. Apple walked.

    They cited other cases where Motorola licensed for less than 2.25%, but omitted that those were cross-licensing deals. Motorola accepted less than 2.25% in exchange for licenses to patents held by the other company. Since Apple refused to cross-license, I don't know why they'd even think those deals were comparable.

    Apple filed a lawsuit against Google/Motorola asking the court to determine what was a fair and reasonable royalty rate. While presenting the case, they essentially told the court they wanted Motorola to be bound by whatever rate the court decided. But if the court decided more than $1 per handset, they themselves would not be bound by the court decision. The judge decided (based on her statements since she hasn't issued a written decision yet) that if her decision wasn't binding, then there was no point involving the court, and dismissed the case with prejudice (meaning Apple can't re-file it in a different district).
    22
  • ddpruitt
    Apple's definition of reasonable: If we made something like it first you owe use $1 billion, if you made it first we aren't paying ANYTHING.

    Right, at least one judge that has a brain.
    21
  • unksol
    So let me get this straight. Motorola has REAL patents on REAL tech. And is required to license them on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms. Fine. They are standards. That makes sense. But apple uses their tech, without permission, that is required for their phone to even work, and refuses to pay fair licenses and demands licencing terms so insane and DISCRIMINATORY that a court threw them out.

    But apple can sue on things they stole from prior art and win? what. The. hell.
    19
  • Other Comments
  • azraa
    Going completely off topic here, but I remember my grandfather working at the local power plant, between control rooms and massive outdoor converters, with a Motorola. That thing was wireless, but freaking huge, with very limited range and a huge charger as well. This kind of devices were the progenitors of modern cellphone comms. After all, Motorola has licenses on very relevant things, and Motorola back in the day was the leading edge in radio coms.


    Good guy motorola, lets all use its many research years products, doesn't sue.
    *meme*
    10
  • A Bad Day
    There's only a lesser evil in the software industry. The patent warfare has no saints in it, except for an occasional sane judge.
    16
  • ddpruitt
    Apple's definition of reasonable: If we made something like it first you owe use $1 billion, if you made it first we aren't paying ANYTHING.

    Right, at least one judge that has a brain.
    21