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Apple Overturns Motorola's German iPad and iPhone Sales Bans 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the german-courts-love-patent-drama dept.
SpuriousLogic sends this excerpt from a BBC article detailing the suspension of a sales ban on certain Apple products in Germany: "Motorola Mobility had forced Apple to remove several iPad and iPhone models from its online store [yesterday] after enforcing a patent infringement court ruling delivered in December. An appeals court lifted the ban after Apple made a new license payment offer. However, Germany-based users may still face the loss of their push email iCloud service after a separate ruling. 'A suspension like this is available only against a bond, but Apple is almost drowning in cash and obviously won't have had a problem with obtaining and posting a bond.' ... A statement from Apple said: 'All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple's online store in Germany shortly.'" Reader DJRumpy points out that Motorola is seeking royalties of 2.25% for Apple's wireless devices in exchange for a license to use Motorola's patents.
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Apple Overturns Motorola's German iPad and iPhone Sales Bans

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:15PM (#38930333)

    You use something someone created, you pay them for it. Then why is it when the situation is reversed, Apple says: "F*ck you! I'm going to ban it.". Just makes them seem like hypocrites and frankly, douches.

  • Just desserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:18PM (#38930353)
    Apple flings lawsuits like mad. Then it bites them in the butt. Can we all just agree that the patent system is idiotic and far too overbearing already?
  • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:34PM (#38930441)

    Simple. If every one of the (estimated) eighteen companies that own essential GSM patents demanded a separate license at 2.2% instead of the few pennies per unit that they almost certainly charge to everyone else, it would add up to almost half the cost of the device.

    Besides, there's debate over whether Apple's purchase of off-the-shelf GSM silicon (rather than designing it themselves) means that they already paid for the license, in which case Motorola is double dipping....

  • Re:Just desserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kangsterizer (1698322) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:46PM (#38930513)

    the "cool" stuff about patents and all the lawsuits
    the only losers are always us, the consumers. no one else.

  • by ninetyninebottles (2174630) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:48PM (#38930527)

    You use something someone created, you pay them for it. Then why is it when the situation is reversed, Apple says: "F*ck you! I'm going to ban it.". Just makes them seem like hypocrites and frankly, douches.

    Do you have any references to Apple refusing to license patents they included in a standard with FRAND promises or trying to charge a competitor a higher rate than other companies?

  • Re:Numbers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ninetyninebottles (2174630) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:55PM (#38930575)

    Except that with the other manufacturers, it probably has been a patent cross licensing, something that Apple has refused to do from the start.

    Apple does cross license their FRAND patents which are included in the standards. They don't cross license their other patents such as UI and proprietary hardware. That's the whole point, Motorola seems to be trying to use their FRAND patents (which were included in standards only because of their promises) to leverage against Apple to get licensing to patents that aren't part of any standard. It is exactly why there are rules in the first place about how you can use patents once you agree they are to be used in a standard.

  • Re:FRAND (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Macthorpe (960048) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:00PM (#38930613) Journal

    As mentioned above, the 'reasonable' part doesn't apply if you don't pay when you should.

    Source [bbc.co.uk] for the second (and hopefully last) time :)

  • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:02PM (#38930625)
    If every company with a FRAND-related patent charged 2.25% nobody would be able to create a product. That you think it's not a ton of money shows how short-sighted you are being and how you're failing to look at the bigger picture.

    Not to mention that FRAND stands for "Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory" and 2.25% is most certainly _NOT_ Fair nor Reasonable.
  • Re:Numbers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by inpher (1788434) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:05PM (#38930641)

    I'll take some number from my butt (definitions of my butt may vary, but in this context it is random site on internet [mobithinking.com]).

    1.186 billion mobile broadband subscribers.
    Let's say that half of these are on a 3G chip that somehow requires the Motorola 3G license: 593 million.
    If these devices sell for an average of $20 we would have 11,86 billion in sales for these devices.
    If Motorola wants 2.25% of the sales of these devices that would mean $297 million, a very significant number considering it is a single patent of a large portfolio of 1729 patents (yes, one thousand seven hundred and twenty nine [mobithinking.com]).

    Imagine if each of these patents would warrant an average licensing cost of 0.1% rather than the 2.25% that Motorola wants, then we would look at a licensing cost of more than the sales price to license 3G technology for the device. 2.25% does not smell FRAND to me, but I am no patent lawyer, I only pretend I know stuff on the internet.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:07PM (#38930655)

    Do as I say, not as I do. It's a standard mantra amongst religious folk....

    You may be unaware of this, but if you bring up religious zealotry at times that have absolutely nothing to do with religious zealotry, you're going to bring religious zealotry in to defend it. Understand?

    Cut it out. If you want to discuss religious silliness, you need go no further than the smartphone OS wars.

  • Re:Just desserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:10PM (#38930677)

    Can we all just agree that the patent system is idiotic and far too overbearing already?

    How would we know? When patents are discussed around here they're assumed to be six words long, mainly because not one person here has ever actually read any of the patents in question. If we can't do that, then no, we cannot agree the patent system is idiotic We actually have to understand it, first.

  • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Amouth (879122) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:41PM (#38930887)

    for initial negotiated fees i agree.. but for fees applied to a product made by a company that knowingly attempted to doge the fee..it isn't.

    i'm not taking any side on this.. as i don't know the details.. but it only makes since that the fee applied after you are caught doing wrong be high enough to prevent you from doing it again. if it was the same cost as just licensing it to begin with then there would be zero incentive to license it ahead of time but rather you would produce and hope you didn't get caught an did then it's a know cost that you had already accounted for.

  • Re:Numbers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:45PM (#38931279)

    apple didn't want a biolerplate frand agreement. They wanted their own agreement (which covered previous unlicensed use), and thats what allowed Motorola to dictate whatever terms they want. There is big money involved because if Motorola is correct apple has been infringing on their patent for multiple product generations. The money isn't just licensing for next year, but licensing/damages for the patent being used unlicensed for years and producing big profit.

    The other way round, actually. What Apple wanted is a license under FRAND terms: You give me the license, I pay you cash. Now many companies in that business don't want these terms, they prefer: You give me a license to your patents, I'll give you a license to mine, because it is cheaper. And that's the kind of license that Motorola wanted to offer and that Apple didn't want.

    And there can't be damages for any time where Motorola didn't offer a license under FRAND terms, otherwise the requirement for FRAND terms would be a joke. If I have a patent that I'm required to license to you for X dollars, I could just ask for 10 X dollars, delay an agreement for as long as possible, and then ask for X dollars in license fees and 3X dollars in damages for the time of the delay. (Obviously asking for X dollars for that time is fine).

  • by pavon (30274) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:45PM (#38931883)

    Do have any references that Motorola refused to license their FRAND patents under FRAND terms? Because they didn't.

  • ahhh slashdot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by smash (1351) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:54PM (#38931939) Homepage Journal
    ... where software patents are bad, evil, etc. unless they're being used against apple.
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Sunday February 05, 2012 @12:12AM (#38932009)

    Slashdot really has fallen so far in the many years I've been here. Back in the old days, accusing someone who holds a different opinion to you of being a shill was something that occasionally came up in jest. Now it's used as a legitimate arguing tool on pretty much every story, regardless of topic.

    I'm not even sure where it began, or why? Does it somehow "validate" the slashdot community as important enough in global political policy and technology news that there are shills from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Facebook, the oil industry, the "global warming is real green scam lobby", the republican party, the democrat party, big pharma... all fighting over the supposed "must-win" battleground of slashdot comments?

    The fact that you're anticipating a paid PR shill response in advance is just hilarious.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 05, 2012 @12:24AM (#38932077) Journal

    Ya know, that is the part I have always found frankly mystifying when it comes to Apple. you talk to Applelites or whatever you want to call them and the way they talk you'd think it was SJ and a bunch of hippies sitting around with no shoes in bean bag chairs somewhere in Cupertino. Whether you like their devices or hate them SJ was NEVER like that, he was always frankly an asshole, see how he screwed his supposedly good friend Woz out of half the profits of their game sale to Atari. The one thing ALL those companies had in common, Apple, MSFT, Oracle, etc is at least 1 type A super asshole with a cutthroat take no prisoners attitude that had no problem backstabbing their way to the top.

    So i just never understood this complete disconnect between reality and mythology when it comes to Apple. Frankly i'm surprised that SJ's douchebag behavior is finally coming out now that he's gone, frankly i figured they'd make him into a saint if past treatment of him and Apple was any indication. If you like their products? hey i'm glad you found something that works for you, really wish you nothing but happiness. but don't pretend that Apple is ANY different than IBM or any other megacorp because they aren't. These companies are NOT your friends, they do NOT care about you, and if Apple could see their profits rise 15% this quarter by throwing you in a cage with a horny silverback you'd be getting some gorilla loving before the day is out. Maybe a few applelites ought to read this book [amazon.com] and do some introspection.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun

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