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The Courts Google Patents Apple

Apple Suit Against Motorola Over FRAND Licensing Rates Dismissed 249

chill writes "A suit by Apple claiming that Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, is seeking unreasonably high license fees for the use of patents on wireless technology has been thrown out by a judge in Madison, Wisconsin. Last week, Apple told the court it would pay up to $1 per device for a license to Motorola patents covering cellular and Wi-Fi technologies. Motorola Mobility was arguing for a royalty payment of 2.25 percent on each device." From the article: "'At the final pretrial conference, I asked Apple to explain why it believed the court should determine a FRAND rate even though the rate may not resolve the parties' licensing or infringement disputes,' Crabb wrote in an order on Friday. 'I questioned whether it was appropriate for a court to undertake the complex task of determining a FRAND rate if the end result would be simply a suggestion that could be used later as a bargaining chip between the parties.'"
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Apple Suit Against Motorola Over FRAND Licensing Rates Dismissed

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  • by Turboglh ( 816701 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:36PM (#41889093)

    AC is troll.

    But I disagree on your respin. Apple asked for a judgement that would only be binding upon MotoMobility, and not on Apple. The court decided it didn't want to make a ruling that would have no effect besides to act as a new negotiating point between the two parties and dismissed it because Apple was unwilling to abide the courts ruling (whatever that may have ended up being)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:38PM (#41889109)

    You sir, are either ill informed or a fanboy.

    Moto offered Apple the same percentage that they offer everyone. Everyone else has goodies that Moto was willing to accept in lieu of the full 2.25%. Moto either A. didn't want what Apple was willing to trade or B. Apple didn't want to trade anything Moto wanted. This means Moto was expecting the full 2.25% that it asks from anyone.

    Apple's being a whiny, greedy child and deserves to be punished for infringing on legit IP they NEED to make a smartphone/tablet/etc...

    Moto doesn't need trade dress patents from Apple.

    End of story.

  • by AnfieldSierra ( 737890 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:45PM (#41889167)
    And if Apple doesn't want to enter into negitiations with Motorola over the rate of the license then it is not operating in good faith. Other handset manufacturers have licensed Mototola's standards esdsential patents, probably by being reasonable and negotiating like normal people. Apple have played hardball here by refusing to negotiate up front and going straight to court instead. Groklaw, as usual, have a good summary here: []
  • by kaiser423 ( 828989 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @10:42PM (#41889689)

    and it matters not a whit if Motorola has made the same demands on other companies.

    That's actually the only relevant part of ND in FRAND -- it matters greatly what other companies were offered and/or accepted in order to prove non-discriminatory pricing.

  • by beltsbear ( 2489652 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @11:11PM (#41889851)
    Most offers like that are made as an offer of settlement and do not admit infringement. Aren't lawyers amazing?
  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @11:47PM (#41890067)
    Amazing is not the word I'd use to describe lawyers.
  • by siddesu ( 698447 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @11:54PM (#41890129)
    Probably, but a device that is called a "mobile phone" is assumed to have one.
  • by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @12:05AM (#41890167)

    Last I checked, sales at Apple are still increasing, year-to-year.

    I generally associate a company that is increasing its revenues with "success". Perhaps your standards differ.

    Absolutely they differ. Lets start Apple is losing share in the smartphone market [23% to 14.9%] and the tablet market [50.4%]. Apple is growing but slower than the opposition, and more importantly less than the market. That is a worrying trend.

    As for your measure of company being large revenues as a measure of success. Apple is incredibly successful but large revenues is only part of the reason why.

    Apple have a real problem, but you don't understand the issues.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @12:16AM (#41890215)

    Yes, but a dollar figure sets a minimum bar for the cost of the device. If 100 companies when after Apple, all claiming 2.5% of the cost of the device, the device would have to cost at least 2.5 times what it costs. Percentages are an impossible and unfounded way to demand royalties from another group.

    Actually, Apple Reality Distortion Field notwithstanding, pretty much all patent royalties [] are [] based on [] a percentage [].

    This study [] puts the average royalty rate for a patent in the electronics industry at about 4.5%. The $1/device Apple is requesting would be about 0.2%. As way of comparison, Here are royalty rates other companies are asking [] for essential LTE patents. They range from 0.8% to 3%. Motorola's 2.25% is a bit on the high end but within the norm. Apple's requested 0.2% OTOH is off the scale at the low end.

    Based on what 5 minutes of googling turned up, Apple is going to lose this, and lose it badly.

  • by Stolpskott ( 2422670 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @05:26AM (#41891471)

    Incorrect - Motorola's opening offer is a little on the high side for FRAND patents, but it is certainly within the bounds of acceptable and fair pricing. In most cases, both companies have a suite of patents (FRAND or otherwise) that will be licensed each to the other, and the final licence fee that is paid is the net result of the respective values of those patents being applied (Company A has a patent portfolio whose accepted licence cost would be 22.5% of the cost of Company B's device, and Company B has a patent portfolio whose accepted licence cost would be 21% of the cost of Company A's device. The two parties agree to cross-licence each other's patents, and the difference in value is paid as a licence).
    As Apple has apparently refused to put any of their own patents on the table for licencing during this discussion (citation needed, as I have seen this commented on elsehwhere, but my Google karma is a bit off today), they have nothing with which to offset the FRAND licence cost other than goodwill and the karma that they have built up during the last couple of years of working closely with Samsung.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:54AM (#41891793)
    Sorry, screwed up the html and lost the link to the LTE royalty rates. Here it is [] (PDF). And to address the anonymous comment claiming it's a percentage of the cost of the LTE radio, the PDF makes it pretty clear that it's a "percent of the sale price of the handset."

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