Apple attacks Motorola's efforts to block iPhone 4S using standards patents, asks for huge damages

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited January 2014


Apple has filed a new "antisuit lawsuit" aimed at unraveling Motorola's litigation efforts and attempts to block iPhone 4S using standards essential patents. Apple is also asking for damages that could reach multibillion dollar figures.



In its patent battles with Apple, Motorola chose to rely upon its standards essential patents that are required to build GSM/GPRS/UMTS compatible devices, and committed to FRAND licensing because of that fact. Rather than negotiating the "fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory" royalty rates the company has committed to as a member of the 3GPP standards body, Motorola has invented a new legal strategy.



Motorola first canceled elements of its patent license with baseband chipmaker Qualcomm, then insisted Apple had to license the technology supplied by Qualcomm's chips on its own, under terms intended to extract more than a billion dollars per year, perpetually, just for using chips that were already properly licensed to be used for that purpose.



Because Apple won't agree to give Motorola billions of dollars based on a percentage of the total value of the iPhones and other 3G-capable devices it sells that use Qualcomm baseband chips, Motorola is seeking to block sales of Apple products in a variety of countries, including efforts that temporarily forced Apple to remove products from its shelves and then later restock them.



Apple pulls out the linch pin



Now, in a report by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, the action taken by Apple in California to seek "declaratory and injunctive relief" with the intent of shutting down Motorola's German injunctions has been detailed with the full filing of the "antisuit lawsuit."



Apple's filing claims "Motorola’s German lawsuit is in direct breach of a Patent Licensing Agreement between Motorola and Qualcomm. As a Qualcomm customer, Apple is a third-party beneficiary of that contract.



"Moreover, under this same contract, Motorola’s rights under the ‘336 and the ‘898 patents are exhausted. Accordingly, Apple brings this suit for breach of contract, declaratory, and injunctive relief, and asks this Court to enjoin Motorola from prosecuting and enforcing its claims against Apple in Germany."



12-02-10 Apple v. Motorola Mobility Antisuit Lawsuit







Qualcomm backs Apple



Qualcomm, the company building the baseband chips in Apple's iPhone 4S, reports in the complaint that "On January 11, 2011, Mr. Kirk Dailey, Motorola's Corporate Vice President, Intellectual Property, sent a letter to Qualcomm, copying Apple, purporting 'to terminate any and all license and covenant rights with respect to Apple, effective February 10, 2011 (30 days from the date of this letter).'"



The complaint further notes, "On April 25, 2011, Mr. Derek Aberle, Executive Vice President of Qualcomm and President of Qualcomm Technology Licensing responded to Motorola’s letter of January 11, 2011. Mr. Aberle disagreed with Motorola’s contention that it could invoke the Defensive Suspension Provision with respect to Apple. He noted that the Defensive Suspension provision did not entitle Motorola to terminate rights based on suits brought by Apple."



Say hello to my little FRAND



Mueller points out that Samsung has similarly attempted to terminate patent rights that benefitted Apple, efforts that courts in both France and Italy determined "was neither allowed under the agreement nor acceptable from a FRAND point of view."



Mueller added, "the French finding is particularly meaningful because ETSI [standards body] is based in France, and the related obligations must be interpreted under French law. The French court firmly ruled out that a company with a FRAND licensing obligation can grant a license and later terminate it with respect to one third-party beneficiary, given that ETSI's FRAND declaration requires the grant of irrevocable licenses to standard-essential patents."



Tremendous potential penalties for thwarting open standards, filing bogus lawsuits



Apple's series of legal actions in the US, which require relatively little deliberation or findings of facts (unlike complex patent arguments) are likely to results in an immediate stay of any infringement claims or enforcement requests Motorola is seeking against Apple in other countries.



Additionally, Motorola's conduct is likely to result in its involvement in ongoing antitrust investigations that have do far centered around Samsung. Yesterday, European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia announced plans to "use antitrust powers to prevent patents from being used to unfairly control market share, including in ongoing investigations," according to a report by Dow Jones.



"I am determined to use antitrust enforcement to prevent the misuse of patent rights to the detriment of a vigorous and accessible market," Almunia said. "I have initiated investigations on this issue in several sectors and we will see the results in due time." Just weeks ago, the commission opened a formal investigation into Samsung's use of standards-essential patents to sue Apple.



"It is a major task of competition control to ensure that new generations of businesses are given a fair chance," Almunia said. "I am notably thinking of the surge in the strategic use of patents that confer market power to their holders."



Mueller also noted, "If any of the other [Apple] claims succeed, such as the one for damages, Google can already make room in its balance sheet for what could be multi-billion dollar damages. If the iPhone 4S got blocked in Germany on an illegal basis for even just a couple of quarters, Apple's resulting damages claim would likely exceed those of Oracle in its actions against Google and SAP combined."







[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • sippincidersippincider Posts: 398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    action taken by Apple in California seeks "declaratory and injunctive relief" that the company hopes will shut down Motorola's German injunctions.



    Why is Apple filing in California over problems in Germany? Makes as much sense as filing in Spain over problems in China.



    I'm no legal expert, but I kinda doubt CA courts have the jurisdiction.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    This doesn't seem very fair, reasonable, and non-discrimatory on Motorola's part. Sounds to me like Apple has a strong case here.
  • grouty2grouty2 Posts: 42member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sippincider View Post


    Why is Apple filing in California over problems in Germany? Makes as much sense as filing in Spain over problems in China.



    I'm no legal expert, but I kinda doubt CA courts have the jurisdiction.



    If I understand this correctly this is about contracts between American companies (Motorola, Qualcomm and Apple) where one company (Motorola) is trying to rescind parts of a contract it signed with a second company (Qualcomm) as it applies to a third party (Apple).



    Of course you are correct that a Californian court would have no jurisdiction over legal processes in another country. I think they can tell an American company that it is breaching a contract signed in America. Like you I'm no expert though. Perhaps there are real lawyers on here that might offer an opinion?
  • povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    This doesn't seem very fair, reasonable, and non-discrimatory on Motorola's part. Sounds to me like Apple has a strong case here.



    Perfect case of double dipping.
  • rufworkrufwork Posts: 109member
    I don't understand; what's Motorola's endgame?



    (Still very Dilger-esque, but an interesting read.)
  • nrevitzernrevitzer Posts: 1member
    I find it totally entertaining that Apple is so sue happy with everyne else, but get really ticked when someone calls them out.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,277member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nrevitzer View Post


    I find it totally entertaining that Apple is so sue happy with everyne else, but get really ticked when someone calls them out.



    I find it totally entertaining that the anti-Apple trolls laud lawsuits against Apple but scream for "patent reform" every time Apple sues someone else.
  • sessamoidsessamoid Posts: 176member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nrevitzer View Post


    I find it totally entertaining that Apple is so sue happy with everyne else, but get really ticked when someone calls them out.



    You can tell when Apple is ticked? How do you do that? Do you know their lawyers?



    Or are you just talking with no knowledge?
  • slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,521member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nrevitzer View Post


    I find it totally entertaining that Apple is so sue happy with everyne else, but get really ticked when someone calls them out.



    What's entertaining is that you registered simply to post that.
  • pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nrevitzer View Post


    I find it totally entertaining that Apple is so sue happy with everyne else, but get really ticked when someone calls them out.



    Called out for what? For using standards-essential FRAND patents?



    Apple is suing over regular patents.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,057
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nrevitzer View Post


    I find it totally entertaining that Apple is so sue happy with everyne else, but get really ticked when someone calls them out.



    And I find your ignorance of the law and your lack of understanding of the facts behind the case to be most entertaining.



    Motorola has no case here. They are a company on the verge of suicide and desperate people resort to desperate measures, no matter how pathetic and laughable those measures might be.



    As I've always written in the past, Apple should step up their legal efforts even more and deliver the final blow to their enemies, fatally wounding them and erasing their presence completely from the tech world.
  • tonkintonkin Posts: 42member
    It's important to follow dosage instructions.
  • cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,084member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Motorola has no case here. They are a company on the verge of suicide and desperate people resort to desperate measures, no matter how pathetic and laughable those measures might be.



    Google is working hard, right behind Motorola. Unfortunately, the measures Google takes to attain growth for its investors (invasion of privacy, disregard for intellectual property rights, etc.) are not at all laughable.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    And I find your ignorance of the law and your lack of understanding of the facts behind the case to be most entertaining.



    Naw. What's the most entertaining of all is that a (f)lame against Apple by some third-rate troll gets six responses.



    Now THAT is entertainment.
  • It may be a profitable company, but recent FBI files tell a story that Apple will lie steal and cheat to get there way. Plus they don't give a crap about the way there OEM factories are run. So a few people committed suicide, that's ok as long as we get our products made that's all that matters. They almost went under once it will happen again.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,057
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Naw. What's the most entertaining of all is that a (f)lame against Apple by some third-rate troll gets six responses.



    Now THAT is entertainment.



    If it were up to me, any anti-Apple trolls would not be allowed on this forum and any violators would be banned for life (one strike and you're out!). Hell, if it were up to me, people would not be allowed to access this forum, unless they were on a Mac or iOS device. I don't come here for discussions with anti-Apple people, as I am not interested in anything that these people have to say. I am only interested in speaking with fellow Apple users. But that of course is not up to me, so all I can do as a user is to forcibly knock down any ignorant comments which anti-Apple people spew from their mouths. As opposed to what some other people might believe, I don't believe that ignoring ignorance is the best method for dealing with trolls. I believe that they should be confronted head on and killed as quickly as possible
  • realisticrealistic Posts: 1,111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sippincider View Post


    Why is Apple filing in California over problems in Germany? Makes as much sense as filing in Spain over problems in China.



    I'm no legal expert, but I kinda doubt CA courts have the jurisdiction.



    I agree you are not a legal expert and are clueless in general as well.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,057
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by some internet dude View Post


    It may be a profitable company, but recent FBI files tell a story that Apple will lie steal and cheat to get there way. Plus they don't give a crap about the way there OEM factories are run. So a few people committed suicide, that's ok as long as we get our products made that's all that matters. They almost went under once it will happen again.



    Yo dude, you can't even spell properly. I can't take any anti-Apple people seriously who can't even use a simple word like "their" properly.



    So a few people committed suicide? Big fucking deal. Is that the basis of your argument?



    Please go and look up how many employees Foxconn employs and if you are capable of processing that information, you will find out that the suicide rate is extremely low. And while you're at it, you might also attempt to educate yourself and find out which other companies use Foxconn as a contractor.



    Worldwide, a few people probably committed suicide while I was writing this very post. Shit happens, it's called human nature.



    Give everybody in the world an Android device, and then I'll bet that the world would see a drastic increase in suicide rates. People would be killing themselves by the thousands.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Motorola first canceled elements of its patent license with baseband chipmaker Qualcomm, then insisted Apple had to license the technology supplied by Qualcomm's chips on its own, under terms intended to extract more than a billion dollars per year, perpetually, just for using chips that were already properly licensed to be used for that purpose.






    That's the linchpin right there - whether or not Moto had any right to terminate. Things don't look good at all for Motorola.
  • realisticrealistic Posts: 1,111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by some internet dude View Post


    It may be a profitable company, but recent FBI files tell a story that Apple will lie steal and cheat to get there way. Plus they don't give a crap about the way there OEM factories are run. So a few people committed suicide, that's ok as long as we get our products made that's all that matters. They almost went under once it will happen again.



    Another clueless troll in training.
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