Feeds

back to article Apple wins battle in Motorola patent war

A German court has ruled that Motorola Mobility can't enforce a patent-battle injunction it won in December that would have prevented Apple's iPhone and iPad from being sold in that country. The injunction caused Apple to remove those products from its German online store earlier this month, only to put them back up within hours …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Thumb Down

Open Pass

Apple now have an open pass for ignoring all FRAND licences, saying they didn't offer fair terms. It seems like they are some what unstoppable!

7
5
Silver badge

Re: Open Pass

Not true, Apple and Motorola will continue to fight over the amount of money that is 'Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory'. Motorola will have to show that it is treating all customers the same and that the pricing is fair&reasonable. The latter may involve a lot of time and lawyers fees. Eventually, Apple will fork over a heap of cash plus interest and the lawyers on both sides can share the champagne.

1
0
Mushroom

Its only a matter of time

Before Apple end up owning Germany....wait what do you mean they already do? Oh right free iProducts for anyone in government.

As it stands what good is FRAND if a company is allowed to run roughshod over it by claiming they weren't offered fair terms even when it comes out they declined them when offered?

7
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: Its only a matter of time

What BS about Apple owning Germany, have you not noticed Apple's push email is still banned there? Even says so in the article.

The infringement court case is also still progressing, this doesn't change that. No doubt Apple will have to pay Motorola a reasonable fee for the patent.

The only fact of the matter is when it comes to standard-related patents no single company should be able to decide on some arbitrary "reasonable" amount and use injuctions to force their ridiculous terms.

4
2

Re: Re: Its only a matter of time

Of course a company and decide on an arbitrary "reasonable" amount, except when it comes to Apple who believe that they should be able to dictate the terms applied to them and if they don't like the terms, ignore it and use the tech anyway.

FRAND is there to protect patent holders and people who need to use the tech in question, it protects the patent holders from someone just using their tech (in theory) without payment, it protects people who need the tech because they can't be stopped from using it (if they pay).

Apple have issue with the whole "pay" thing, they haven't put anything in to the system, they have no FRAND patents for essential standards but they probably want to pay the same amount as another company who has 2 or 3 patents considered standard and who (naturally) should pay less under FRAND terms. It's not as if Apple make a few hundred dollars profit per phone so paying $2 or $3 per phone would seriously dent their profit margin.... oh, hang on, they do make hundreds per suck.. err... sale.

I also think I read somewhere that the issue is that they use the FRAND patents first and THEN try to work out a deal so the issue is that if they are using FRAND patents before working out a deal so they can be charged whatever the patent holder wants for that time as they were not working within the FRAND framework.

6
5
Anonymous Coward

@David Webb

> I also think I read somewhere that the issue is that they use the FRAND patents first and THEN try to work out a deal

No, you didn't read that anywhere because what happened was: Apple was using comms chips that were already licensed by their manufacturer for Motorola's patents, but then - as soon as Motorola got confirmation that Apple was using the chips, ie at start of sales - they revoked the chip manufacturer's convenant license, forcing Apple to negotiate the patent with Motorola directly.

This actually happened twice, first with Infineon/Chi Mei for the iPhone 3G and then Qualcomm for the iPhone 4.

Full details at: http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2012/02/a-riveting-read-apple-files-a-complaint-for-declaratory-and-injunctive-relief-against-motorola.html

Also the payment being demanded by Motorola is more around the $10-15 mark (2.25% of retail value of device) for a single patent, not $2 as you claim.

7
3
Alert

Re: Re: Re: Its only a matter of time

The rumoured claim that Apple owns no FRAND patents in the 3G and general telecommunications field is completely false. Apple was the lead buyer on the consortium that purchased Nortel's patents, several hundred of which cover aspects of 3GPP standards and mobile technologies.

You can check for yourself how relevant these are using the ETSI intellectual property database at http://ipr.etsi.org/ Nortel's patents are under ETSI's essential patents IPR FRAND terms, as shown in the database.

Apple themselves have also listed their own communications patents in the ETSI databse and those are also available under FRAND terms.

However one company is not even on that database: Google.

3
3

Re: Re: Re: Its only a matter of time

> FRAND is there to protect patent holders and people who need to use the tech in question, it protects the patent holders from someone just using their tech (in theory) without payment, it protects people who need the tech because they can't be stopped from using it (if they pay).

Completely wrong - FRAND is there to protect potential licensees, it does not protect patent holders in any way whatsoever. There's also no need to negotiate a license in advance of using the tech, you can start using and negotiate later, and this isn't just according to Apple, but also freely admitted by Nokia when they were suing Apple.

See for instance section 40 of http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/102209nokiapplecomplaint.pdf

2
1
Gold badge

Re: Re: Its only a matter of time

It's in everyone's interest that FRAND is enforced properly. Otherwise phones end up costing more.

FRAND is a well known concept, it has been ruled that Motorola's demands weren't fair or non-discriminatory.

2
4
Headmaster

Re: Re: Re: Re: Its only a matter of time

Looking into that database, it looks like Apple have declared 55 patents. Or at least that is what is returned looking at Apple Inc.

Looking at the Motorola stuff, it returns 45 entries for Motorola Mobility and Motorola Inc - diving in to just one of the first Motorola Mobility entries, I see 1,522 patents declared.

Similar to Moto, Nortel gives a bunch of returns when searching on company name. Adding all these up (assuming no duplication like there is in the Moto one) gives 264.

Google may not be named on the list of companies, but they're buying at least 1,522 "essential" 3GPP patents, which somewhat outweighs Apple's 300 (max).

Too bored with etsi's slow server to look at NSN, Huawei, Ericsson et al. for comparison

0
0

@David Webb @Metavisor

and also, MM wants percentage from device price not from the chip which uses patented technology (Infineon/qualcomm) - and that's really unfair. that's also the reason why MS filed complaint against MM.

1
0
Silver badge

As Samuel L Jackson might have put it...

I'M FED UP WITH THESE MOTHERF*CKING PATENTS IN THIS MOTHERF*CKING COURT!

[asterisks to sort-of-not-very-much protect delicate sensibilities]

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Real war is in China!

If IPAD succeeds over iPad (yeah I know long shot) in China, it'll not only upset a minor branch of the marketing - it'll kill the supply chain.

Out comes the popcorn.

I certainly root for that. Only for the drama mind you, because Schadenfreude in the case Apple is nothing to be ashamed of - since Apple _is_ the 2000000 pound gorilla.

3
0
FAIL

epic fail

Apple didn't win a battle of any sort. The enforcement was stayed pending appeal. This is so common it would have been remarkable and worthy of comment only if it did not happen.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: epic fail

It got stayed partly because Apple conceded that FRAND terms apply to *THEM* as licensees, that they don't get to dictate arbitrary terms to licensors.

Reading the article you could almost believe Apple had sued Motorola, that's what happens when your inside source is Florian 'what would Steve Jobs do' Mueller.

3
0
Silver badge

Lacking facts and context

Tis story is very poor in both facts and context. For a better overview of the matter please see:

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2012/02/motorola-cant-enforce-standard.html

Note that it is the German courts who have decided that Apple's latest offer was sufficient and that a refusal by MMI to accept it would be an anti-trust violation.

Interesting quote: "With today's ruling, Googlorola's strategy has failed even before the companies have formally merged. This is such a major blow to Google's patent strategy that [...] it should now give serious consideration to the possibility of coughing up the $2.5 billion break-up fee[...] and walk out on this deal. [...] But in all likelihood, Google will nevertheless try to close the deal, if only to avoid a colossal embarrassment for its CEO and other decision-makers."

Scorecard so far: $12.5bn spent to avoid embarrassing The 3 Assholes (Schmidt, Brin, Page), and another $500 million to the US Feds to keep them out of prison for profiting from illegal and counterfeit drug sales. Of course, if Google walks away from Motorola and pays the $2.5bn breakup fee, they reduce their losses from $13bn to a trifling $3bn. But even $3bn is a lot of stupidity...

1
9
Anonymous Coward

Re: Lacking facts and context - Are you ashamed to say

you're quoting Florian Mueller here ?

6
2
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Tales from the front

So goes one of many battles in the war against progress.

Thumbs up for lack of Mueller, the Neville Chamberlain of this particular war.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Tales from the front - Dead wrong, mate!

It just happened in the post right above yours.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Tales from the front

> Mueller, the Neville Chamberlain of this particular war.

ITYM "Mueller, the Lord Haw-Haw of this particular war"...

Vic.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

I wonder if there'd be any merit in applying to the court to have any *new* Apple telephony products banned until the patent issues are settled, on the basis that it won't affect Apple's existing sales, but creates an incentive to reach an agreement in time for their next product launch.

3
1
Silver badge
Devil

Given the number of OTHER manufactures of mobile phones who must be licensing Motorolas patent under FRAND, it should be very easy to set a FRAND figure for Apple.

Then we find out who the real bad guys are...

2
0
This topic is closed for new posts.