Motorola demanded license for all Apple iPhone patents for access to 3G standard

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


Motorola Mobility demanded access to Apple's entire patent portfolio in order to gain access to its own patents required to practice industry standards, such as connecting to 3G mobile networks.



Motorola's demands were revealed in documentation by the European Commission, which noted that in late 2011, patent licensing negotiations between the two companies "envisaged a cross-licence possibly to the benefit of all Android OEMs but also with mutual carve-outs."



The discussions, described by Florian Mueller of FOSSPatents, appeared to be based on a request by a German court to at least attempt to reach a settlement.



Mueller described one settlement negotiation between the two companies where "Apple didn't even send any corporate officer," and "no Apple official sat besides its outside counsel," suggesting that the company had no serious interest in negotiating with Motorola under the terms it demanded.



The discussions noted by the EC were made in relation to its cautious approval of Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The negotiators "realized that the deal would have to be palatable to Google, which didn't (and still doesn't) own MMI in formal terms but is likely to own it soon and has to consent to any settlement before MMI can enter into it," Mueller noted.



All the tea



A footnote in the EC document added that "according to Apple, Motorola Mobility has insisted that Apple cross-licenses its full non-SEP [standards essential patent] portfolio in exchange for Motorola Mobility's SEPs.



"Apple also argues that its refusal to accede to this demand led Motorola Mobility to sue Apple in an attempt to exclude Apple's products from the market. On the terms of Apple's own argument, Motorola Mobility's allegedly anti-competitive behaviour in this regard well precedes the [Google] merger at issue in the present decision. See, for instance, the e-mail of 2 February 2012 from Apple to the Commission."



While Motorola has indicated that Apple simply refused to properly license its patents, and has won German sales injunctions against certain iOS devices (which have been suspended, allowing products to return to the shelf) and against Apple's iCloud messaging services (which are still in effect, and which Motorola is trying to expand into the US), Apple has appealed the rulings.



Apple stated it appealed "because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago."



Discriminatory licensing to block iPhone sales



In December, Apple filed a new complaint against Motorola, detailing that the company has attempted to revoke its patent license with Qualcomm (which produces the baseband chips that allow iPhone and iPad models to connect to wireless networks) and demand new licensing terms from Apple.



"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," the company stated.



"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."



Government scrutiny of Motorola, Google and patent abuse



Both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission have approved Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola, but they have also voiced concerns that Google will abuse the patents it acquires from Motorola. The DoJ called out Google for being "more ambiguous" than Apple or Microsoft in its commitments to upholding FRAND licensing terms for standards-essential patents.



Last month, 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," adding, "I am determined to use antitrust enforcement to prevent the misuse of patent rights to the detriment of a vigorous and accessible market. I have initiated investigations on this issue in several sectors and we will see the results in due time."



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Motorola Mobility demanded access to Apple's entire patent portfolio in order to gain access to its own patents required to practice industry standards, such as connecting to 3G mobile networks.



    Motorola's demands were revealed in documentation by the European Commission, which noted that in late 2011, patent licensing negotiations between the two companies "envisaged a cross-licence possibly to the benefit of all Android OEMs but also with mutual carve-outs."




    The two bolded statements are mutually exclusive.



    Likely the truth is the first casualty of this war.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Why does Moto needs Apple's entire patent portfolio?
  • chabigchabig Posts: 583member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Why does Moto needs Apple's entire patent portfolio?



    So they can copy Apple's products.
  • thomprthompr Posts: 1,442member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    The two bolded statements are mutually exclusive.



    Likely the truth is the first casualty of this war.



    I read those statements differently. The entire patent portfolio statement is with regards to Motorola getting the licenses to use. The mutual carve-outs are with respect to which of Apple's patents also get licensed to all Android device makers. In other words, Motorola gets it all, and other vendors get only a subset.



    Is that how others read it?





    Thompson
  • ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Why does Moto needs Apple's entire patent portfolio?



    Especially for something that is FRAND. Samsung is NOT operating in good faith
  • sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 327member
    Motorola to Apple: We want access to your entire patent portfolio now and in the future as long as you make 3G devices.



    Apple to Motorola: Good luck with that.
  • nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Just give Motorola/Google all your patents, Apple. Can?t we all play nice? Why is Apple always such a bully?
  • ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    There is something highly amusing about all these Chromebook ads here on AI
  • headrush69headrush69 Posts: 45member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thompr View Post


    I read those statements differently. The entire patent portfolio statement is with regards to Motorola getting the licenses to use. The mutual carve-outs are with respect to which of Apple's patents also get licensed to all Android device makers. In other words, Motorola gets it all, and other vendors get only a subset.



    Is that how others read it?



    Read it the exact same way as you.
  • greginpraguegreginprague Posts: 404member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    The two bolded statements are mutually exclusive.



    Likely the truth is the first casualty of this war.



    The two bolded statements were related to two different periods of negotiation. One in November 2011 and the second in February of 2012 (check Foss Patents). It's entirely possible that Motorola changed its demands in that time period. Therefore it's irrelevant if the statements were in fact mutually exclusive, which others are also disagreeing with.



    I'm glad that you make sure you're understanding the situation properly before suggesting that Apple is lying.
  • diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    Just give Motorola/Google all your patents, Apple. Can?t we all play nice? Why is Apple always such a bully?



    Because that?s not how the world works.
  • goodgriefgoodgrief Posts: 137member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thompr View Post


    I read those statements differently. The entire patent portfolio statement is with regards to Motorola getting the licenses to use. The mutual carve-outs are with respect to which of Apple's patents also get licensed to all Android device makers. In other words, Motorola gets it all, and other vendors get only a subset.



    Is that how others read it?





    Thompson



    Yes, I believe you're correct.



    In reading the document from the EU commission, the "carve-outs" was specifically with respect to the rights Google might have if the MMI buyout was executed. The implication being that even if MMI got rights to some of Apple's patents in a deal, that didn't mean Google would get automatic rights if they bought Motorola. So, Google (and therefore all the Android licensees) wouldn't necessarily get rights to all of the patents that MMI had rights to just because they bought Motorola.
  • swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Moto goes and develops the patent that runs the digital wireless world, and they get money from EVERYONE who runs a phone or a network. But the condition of that is that they offer it in a fair, non-monopolistic way. This will be rejected again. This is a temper tantrum.



    So we see why Google was forced to build up its patents.
  • bigmac2bigmac2 Posts: 616member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Why does Moto needs Apple's entire patent portfolio?



    Apple hold many software patent, starting with the multi-touch input
  • jjjamesonjjjameson Posts: 69member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post


    Apple hold many software patent, starting with the multi-touch input



    Ok, but that doesn't explain why they need all of Apple's patents for some FRAND 3G patents. Sounds like Moto's trying to scam Apple.
  • greginpraguegreginprague Posts: 404member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JJJameson View Post


    Ok, but that doesn't explain why they need all of Apple's patents for some FRAND 3G patents. Sounds like Moto's trying to scam Apple.



    Motorola doesn't "need" the patents. They just want them. You probably could say that they "need" them to be competitive in the wireless hardware marketplace but so does everyone else that can't have them.
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diddy View Post


    Because that?s not how the world works.



    pretty sure he was being facetious.
  • jjjamesonjjjameson Posts: 69member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post


    Motorola doesn't "need" the patents. They just want them. You probably could say that they "need" them to be competitive in the wireless hardware marketplace but so does everyone else that can't have them.



    That was my point. Moto is trying to scam Apple by abusing its FRAND patents to overreach beyond anything that would be considered fair and reasonable.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,056member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    Just give Motorola/Google all your patents, Apple. Can?t we all play nice? Why is Apple always such a bully?



    Apples patents are not essential. Moto's are. It is not fair or reasonable to deman access to nonessential patents in exchange for essential ones, especially when that is on top of cash payments
  • bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 151member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thompr View Post


    I read those statements differently. The entire patent portfolio statement is with regards to Motorola getting the licenses to use. The mutual carve-outs are with respect to which of Apple's patents also get licensed to all Android device makers. In other words, Motorola gets it all, and other vendors get only a subset.



    Is that how others read it?



    Thompson



    Yes, that's how I read it.
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