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Motorola wins major injunction against Apple's iPhone, iPad in Germany

post #1 of 135
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Motorola Mobility on Friday won a major patent infringement decision against Apple in Germany, a ruling that includes an injunction against the iPhone and 3G-capable iPads.

Motorola's victory relates to European Patent 1010336 (B1), entitled "Method for Performing a Countdown Function During a Mobile-originated Transfer for a Packet Radio System." According to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, the patent was declared essential to the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) standard.

"The ruling generally relates to all Apple products that implement the patent-in-suit," Mueller wrote. "The ruling notes that, 'inter alia,' this includes the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G. But the iPhone 4S, which was released after this litigation started (April 2011), undoubtedly implements the same telecommunications standard."

Friday's decision is the first substantive ruling in the court battle between Motorola and Apple. A month ago, Motorola won a default judgment in the same German patent case, but the ruling was declared largely procedural, and did not affect sales of Apple products.

But Friday's ruling will force Apple to make a move. One option for the company is to modify its products by removing the patented feature to avoid further infringement.



"It remains to be seen whether this is a commercially viable option for Apple," Mueller wrote. "This feature could be somewhat fundamental to wireless data transfers in general."

It's likely that Apple will appeal the decision to the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court and request a stay for the remainder of the appellate proceedings, Mueller said. Or Apple could attempt to license the patent included in the suit.
post #2 of 135
". . .preliminarily enforceable against Ireland-based Apple Sales International in exchange for a 100 million ($134 million) bond unless Apple wins a stay"

$134 million is a far cry from the billions mentioned as a potential bond.
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post #3 of 135
It's still a sweet result. SWEET.
post #4 of 135
I don't like those injunctions, is better to pay damages if the trial is lost
post #5 of 135
So Apple should just have to license it with a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory manner.
post #6 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

So Apple should just have to license it with a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory manner.

Well Motorola asked them to license the patent in 2007, so they may get awarded damages back till then, and not necessarily at the FRAND rate. Could be expensive for Apple - they should have just licensed it in 2007.
post #7 of 135
Joking aside, the more of these details that come out, the more it seems that Apple didn't really play ball when it came to the patents for the iPhone. They just built it, released it and then worried about what they had infringed.

It could end up being a very costly decision. This, the Nokia patents, anything Samsung can make stick...etc.

To be fair, they were coming into the game as newbies, but there's still a right and wrong way of doing things.
post #8 of 135
so does this mean you can no longer buy these Apple products in Germany as of today?
post #9 of 135
These sound like FRAND patents, since they are essential to the GPRS standard. I'm a bit surprised the court didn't just order monetary damages, but German courts seem to have one weapon only (product bans). Apple isn't being hit in pre-market trading, so I'm guessing that the two sides will just settle this.
post #10 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

These sound like FRAND patents, since they are essential to the GPRS standard. I'm a bit surprised the court didn't just order monetary damages, but German courts seem to have one weapon only (product bans). Apple isn't being hit in pre-market trading, so I'm guessing that the two sides will just settle this.

HTC has a similar issue in Germany with IPCom patents that appear like they're FRAND. In that case the claimant wants past damages going back a couple of years and may well get it.
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post #11 of 135
To those of you wondering about the FRAND issue, you really need to read the link to the FOSS blog. It does a pretty good job of covering that issue. What I am unclear on is whether Apple did or did not actually pay Motorola FRAND licenses. At one point is says that Motorola contacted Apple about paying in 2007. Then at another point it states that Apple made an offer to pay for them. Then at one point is mentions that Motorola's legal counsel argued that the FRAND doesn't apply because Apple retained the rights to try and prove the patent in question invalid, which makes it sound like they paid for the FRAND but are trying to invalidate the patent in question.

So, I am really unclear as to whether Motorola did or did not actually receive any money for this patent.

Whatever the case it is not as simple as it seems at first blush.

The only issue that I really take issue with is the judges contention that Apple stands to only lose $134 million if the injunction is overturned. I don't know how fast German courts work, but I would guess that Apple makes this amount of money on the products in question in a single quarter.
post #12 of 135
Pay back is a bitch....

Apple definitely deserved this one....
post #13 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post

Joking aside, the more of these details that come out, the more it seems that Apple didn't really play ball when it came to the patents for the iPhone. They just built it, released it and then worried about what they had infringed.

It could end up being a very costly decision. This, the Nokia patents, anything Samsung can make stick...etc.

To be fair, they were coming into the game as newbies, but there's still a right and wrong way of doing things.



You can't license something if somebody doesn't let you. In Motorola and Nokia's case, they have to license the patents under FRAND terms. The problem occurs when the parties disagree as to what FRAND terms are.
post #14 of 135
Peanuts. Apple pays a couple of bucks per device per FRAND standards (after trying out appeals) and moves on.

Rounding error.
post #15 of 135
This is why standards bodies should not accept patented technologies into standards. The GPRS committees should not have accepted Motorola's patented tech as part of the standard without getting a legally binding statement that they would not sue GPRS implementers.

Failing that, the standards bodies must take steps to make sure that people implementing the standards can do so without fear of being sued by the companies contributing patented technology to the standard.

For example, the DVD and Blu-Ray standards bodies (as I understand it) set up a clearinghouse for the various patents. If you pay for a DVD or Blu-Ray license, then you don't have to worry about the fact that the dozens of patented technologies held by the various member companies.

If the GPRS people didn't do this, then they made a tragic mistake. If they did, and Apple didn't buy a license, then they made a tragic mistake. If GPRS and Apple both did the right thing, then Motorola should get pounded into the ground by the courts for trying to sue.
post #16 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

Pay back is a bitch....

Apple definitely deserved this one....

How so? Motorola apparently refused to license the patents on FRAND terms because Apple wanted to reserve the right to contest the patent. It sounds like Motorola was the one overreaching.

Anyway, Motorola's attorney in Germany is also the same one who got the Samsung injunction lifted. Perhaps Apple should think about switching law firms.

It sounds like the only matter under actual dispute is the amount of royalties Apple will pay Motorola. Apple wants to pay FRAND rates while Motorola wants more.
post #17 of 135
Germans like their tech and can afford it -- I have no idea how many iPhones have been sold in Germany but they've always been keen on Apple products, and produced lots of software pre-OSX.

They may well take out their frustrations on Googarola.
post #18 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Peanuts. Apple pays a couple of bucks per device per FRAND standards (after trying out appeals) and moves on.

Rounding error.

In the HTC/IPCom case I mentioned above (also a German injunction), IPCom thinks they should get 2.5-3.5% of the device revenue. If the same applies to Apple and is granted, that will be a lot more than a couple of dollars per device. Perhaps $15 per infringing device might be closer.
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post #19 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

How so? Motorola apparently refused to license the patents on FRAND terms because Apple wanted to reserve the right to contest the patent. It sounds like Motorola was the one overreaching.

Anyway, Motorola's attorney in Germany is also the same one who got the Samsung injunction lifted. Perhaps Apple should think about switching law firms.

It sounds like the only matter under actual dispute is the amount of royalties Apple will pay Motorola. Apple wants to pay FRAND rates while Motorola wants more.

Or Apple wants to pay less than FRAND terms like in the case of Nokia, we don't know, the only fact is that they haven't payed the licenses
post #20 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post

Joking aside, the more of these details that come out, the more it seems that Apple didn't really play ball when it came to the patents for the iPhone. They just built it, released it and then worried about what they had infringed.

It could end up being a very costly decision. This, the Nokia patents, anything Samsung can make stick...etc.

To be fair, they were coming into the game as newbies, but there's still a right and wrong way of doing things.



I believe any company intending to design such a complex product is faced with potential infringement of hundreds of patents. Some of thse can be clearly identified and resolved, but others would require years of negotiations, which obviously Apple could not afford. having said that, it is also true that in many cases (Apple trademark, etc ...) it is Apple's (or better Steve's) strategy to move along, and then negotiate. this is not necessarily counterproductive, since anyway you have to negotiate at some points, as these matters are often resolved after negotiation, apart from legal system/dispute. My guess is that, as it is done in any company, they have eavaluated the pros and cons of each strategy. Only future will tell whether they were right or not (but the public will not be able to tell,because in case of negotiations the terms are never made public).
post #21 of 135
So, Motorola refuses to license a FRAND patent.. and they get an injunction? Un.. fucking... believable

Let's see what happens when Apple products are actually banned in Germany/Europe. The public uproar is going to be deafening

I look forward to Motorola and their 20K employees to be integrated into Google. It will be fun to see that anchor take down the ship

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post #22 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

So, Motorola refuses to license a FRAND patent.. and they get an injunction?

Mmmm, no. Have you read the article?
post #23 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

To those of you wondering about the FRAND issue, you really need to read the link to the FOSS blog. It does a pretty good job of covering that issue. What I am unclear on is whether Apple did or did not actually pay Motorola FRAND licenses. At one point is says that Motorola contacted Apple about paying in 2007. Then at another point it states that Apple made an offer to pay for them. Then at one point is mentions that Motorola's legal counsel argued that the FRAND doesn't apply because Apple retained the rights to try and prove the patent in question invalid, which makes it sound like they paid for the FRAND but are trying to invalidate the patent in question.

So, I am really unclear as to whether Motorola did or did not actually receive any money for this patent.

Whatever the case it is not as simple as it seems at first blush.

The only issue that I really take issue with is the judges contention that Apple stands to only lose $134 million if the injunction is overturned. I don't know how fast German courts work, but I would guess that Apple makes this amount of money on the products in question in a single quarter.

I read the FOSS blog, but I find him scattered and non-directional. It's always a lot of information but all over the map. One minute Apple is in a great position, next its products are about to be banned in Europe

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post #24 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

In the HTC/IPCom case I mentioned above (also a German injunction), IPCom thinks they should get 2.5-3.5% of the device revenue. If the same applies to Apple and is granted, that will be a lot more than a couple of dollars per device. Perhaps $15 per infringing device might be closer.

Asking for it and getting it are two different things.
post #25 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Motorola Mobility on Friday won a major patent infringement decision against Apple in Germany, a ruling that includes an injunction against the iPhone and 3G-capable iPads.



Apple has been hoisted by their own petard!
post #26 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

So, Motorola refuses to license a FRAND patent.. and they get an injunction? Un.. fucking... believable

There appears to be conflicting information on that point. Apparently Motorola approached Apple about obtaining a license in 2007, and Apple decided not to take out a license at that time. It's been reported that this was perhaps because Apple didn't believe the patent was legitimate and wanted to have it invalidated in the future.

Well, until Motorola sued Apple, Apple wouldn't have had any standing to attempt to initiate proceedings to invalidate Motorola's patent. And from Motorola's perspective, if Motorola really did approach Apple about selling a reasonably priced license, and if Apple refused Motorola, then Motorola will have satisfied all of its obligations under FRAND terms, and they would be totally in the clear to initiate legal proceedings against Apple.

If the initial premise was correct -- if Apple always had the intention to attempt to invalidate Motorola's patent -- then the course of events that has followed would have been exactly what Apple wanted to happen, according to the only strategy that could have them led them to obtaining standing to attempt to have the patent invalidated.
post #27 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

Pay back is a bitch....

Apple definitely deserved this one....

Unless Motorola Mobility (soon to be own by Google) can force Apple into a cross license agreement so they can use some of Apples' patents in Android phones, it's not considered a victory for Motorola Mobility. Apple is more than willing to pay a fair price to license the Motorola patents in question. If Motorola patents are essential to the working of a mobile device, then Motorola must license the patents to Apple at the same price they license it to others under FRAND. Apple couldn't care less about paying for the license with money and Motorola (Google) couldn't care less about getting any money from Apple. Pay back is a bitch when Motorola Mobility (Google) has to remove Apple patents from their Android devices or otherwise take them off the market, because Apple patents aren't FRAND and thus Apple don't have to license them out to anyone.
post #28 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

How so? Motorola apparently refused to license the patents on FRAND terms because Apple wanted to reserve the right to contest the patent. It sounds like Motorola was the one overreaching.

Anyway, Motorola's attorney in Germany is also the same one who got the Samsung injunction lifted. Perhaps Apple should think about switching law firms.

It sounds like the only matter under actual dispute is the amount of royalties Apple will pay Motorola. Apple wants to pay FRAND rates while Motorola wants more.

I doubt that Motorola would have even sued them if Apple had not started all of this look and feel lawsuit crap.....
post #29 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Asking for it and getting it are two different things.

The whole dispute seems to be over the royalty amount. Apple wants to pay FRAND rates while disputing the validity of the patent. Motorola Mobility wants to charge more than FRAND for that period from 2007 to whenever it was that Apple first approached them about a license.

Neither stock is moving much today, so I'm guessing what will happen is that this will force a relatively quick settlement, depending on what results Apple gets at the appeals court.

Given that the EU is currently investigating Motorola Mobility over its use of FRAND patents, my guess is that this will serve as some sort of cap on the level of damages they actually seek. However, they have a very good attorney who was able to convince the court that $134 million was sufficient bond to enforce the injunction.
post #30 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

If Motorola patents are essential to the working of a mobile device, then Motorola must license the patents to Apple at the same price they license it to others under FRAND

No, they don't have to ask the same, they must ask a fair and non discriminatory amount.

Nokia had money AND licenses from Apple
post #31 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post


Given that the EU is currently investigating Motorola Mobility over its use of FRAND patents, my guess is that this will serve as some sort of cap on the level of damages they actually seek.

Excellent point

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post #32 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by t2af View Post

Could be expensive for Apple - they should have just licensed it in 2007.



Apple thinks that it is cheaper to ask a judge for forgiveness than to ask an IP owner for permission.

Too bad Apple decided upon a "don't license, litigate instead" strategy. I hope that they have learned something from all this. Just because they have more money than other companies, they are NOT invincible, and while the wheels of justice turn slowly, the miscreant lawbreaker will always have his day of reckoning.

Too bad the day of reckoning involves the biggest market in all of Europe, and too bad the day is during the busiest selling time of the entire year. But criminals who steal other people's stuff can't choose when they get punished.

Apple fans need to hang their heads in shame.
post #33 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

Given that the EU is currently investigating Motorola Mobility over its use of FRAND patents


EU is not investigating Motorola, they have asked Samsung and Apple about the litigations they have and Almunia have said that they will ask more parties but there is no formal investigation ongoing
post #34 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

I doubt that Motorola would have even sued them if Apple had not started all of this look and feel lawsuit crap.....

I disagree. Motorola Mobility was looking to use a rather ordinary patent as a gold mine, much the same way that Microsoft has done with Android licensees.
post #35 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

In the HTC/IPCom case I mentioned above (also a German injunction), IPCom thinks they should get 2.5-3.5% of the device revenue. If the same applies to Apple and is granted, that will be a lot more than a couple of dollars per device. Perhaps $15 per infringing device might be closer.

The question is how much are others paying Motorola for a license to use the patents in question. If the patents are essential for the working of a mobile device then Motorola can not force Apple to pay more than what they charge others for the same license. So is Motorola getting 2.5-3.5% per device from the others?
post #36 of 135
Just want to know if Motorola in this case is the Motorola from Google.
post #37 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Apple thinks that it is cheaper to ask a judge for forgiveness than to ask an IP owner for permission.

Too bad Apple decided upon a "don't license, litigate instead" strategy. I hope that they have learned something from all this. Just because they have more money than other companies, they are NOT invincible, and while the wheels of justice turn slowly, the miscreant lawbreaker will always have his day of reckoning.

Apple approached Motorola years ago about licensing the patents on FRAND terms. Motorola Mobility decided to play hardball.

Apple is more than happy to settle out of court. Nokia is a good example. Nokia has far more patents than Motorola Mobility and has done more to develop mobile communications standards than anyone else. They had a brief war of words, but then later came to an amicable settlement.
post #38 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post


To be fair, they were coming into the game as newbies, but there's still a right and wrong way of doing things.



They are NOT newbies.

Apple has more lawyers than most companies have employees. The suits were advised of every detail and nuance. The Apple suits gambled that they could get away with stealing, and that stealing stuff would make them richer.

Apple knew EXACTLY what it was doing. Apple knew EXACTLY what the stakes were. Apple tried to sleaze its way into profits, but has been caught with its hand in the cookie jar.


All the suits who decided to steal as a business strategy should be fired. Every last one of them.
post #39 of 135
It's funny how these iHaters are so giddy when Apple loses. The fact that their own favorite toys are emulating Apple in almost every way alludes their little pea sized brains. Without Apple you guys will still be using a stylus to work your "smartphone". Without Apple, pushing the boundaries of hardware and software, you pea brains would still be rocking with your chicklet keyboards.
post #40 of 135
Guess some people from Androidcentral and Phandroid have landed here by mistake. Please go troll elsewhere. If u dont know squat about law, dont speculate and talk out of your sorry bottom. Its not like Motorola will enforce the ban so easily. Its not so simple for them either and implications are huge for both
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