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Motorola seeking 2.25% of Apple's sales for standard-essential patent license

post #1 of 140
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Recently uncovered court documents from Motorola Mobility's legal complaints against Apple have revealed that the handset maker is seeking 2.25 percent of Apple's sales of wireless devices in exchange for a patent license covering its standard-essential intellectual property.

The figure came to light as a result of a motion from Apple requesting Qualcomm's patent license agreement with Motorola, as reported by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.

The Cupertino, Calif., company argued that its devices could potentially be covered by extension under its own license for baseband chips from Qualcomm. It also sought to prove that Motorola's request for 2.25 percent in royalties was unfair. The patent in question was committed by Motorola to be subject to Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory licensing, which means that the company must offer a licensing agreement to competitors asking for it.

Motorola opposed Apple's motion, but was ultimately shot down at the end of January. Apple has also filed motions requesting Motorola's agreements with rivals Nokia, HTC, LG and Ericsson in order to determine the specifics of their respective agreements and how much they pay in royalties.

Mueller noted that the revelation of the actual royalty rate is a rare occurrence. "In this case, the related document was not sealed, and it appears that Motorola's counsel did not allege a violation of a protective order," he wrote.

Though the letter outing Motorola's demands did not specifically state that the proposed 2.25 percent royalty covers all of its standards-related patents, Mueller assumed "in Motorola's favor" that it did, since that rate for a single patent would be unheard of. Even with that assumption, he went on to note that the rate "still appears excessive," since the number of companies that hold patents for standards would result in an unfeasible aggregate royalty rate if all of them requested a similar percentage.


Credit: Foss Patents


The patent in question, which is related to push services, has already caused trouble for Apple in Germany, as Motorola won on Friday an injunction against Apple's iCloud and MobileMe services. Apple quickly pulled its 3G iPads and older iPhone models from its German online store, but it recommenced sales after managing to win a suspension on the ruling later in the day.

“Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago,” the company said in a statement.

If Motorola is found to have abusively wielded its FRAND patents, it could face an antitrust investigation from a European agency. Rival Samsung is currently the subject to a formal investigation into its use of standard-essential FRAND patents in lawsuits, particularly in its complaints against Apple.

Mueller speculated that Apple will take a similar approach with Motorola as it has with Samsung. That would entail arguing that Motorola's proposed rate is discriminatory because it is presumably higher than the royalties paid by other market players. Motorola would likely respond by arguing that the others cross-licensed their own standard-essential wireless patents. Apple could then argue that Motorola's offer was a "prohibitive license offer that Apple couldn't possibly accept" with Motorola's end goal being an injunction against its rival in order to force it to leverage its own "non-standards-related innovations."

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 140
Good luck with that, Moto.
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post #3 of 140
1) Wireless devices is missleading. It's only cellular networks, excluding WiFi, Bluetooth, et al. That means it's just the iPhone and 3G iPads.

2) Looking at just the iPhone, last quarter sold 37.04 million and had an average sale price of $650(?) which comes out to $24,076,000,000 in revenue. For Moto to take 2.25% is $541,710,000 in profit for a single quarter. You can probably add at least another $100 million for the iPad. As SDW2001 says, "Good luck with that, Moto."

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post #4 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Wireless devices is missleading. It's only cellular networks, excluding WiFi, Bluetooth, et al. That means it's just the iPhone and 3G iPads.

2) Looking at just the iPhone, last quarter sold 37.04 million and had an average sale price of $650(?) which comes out to $24,076,000,000 in revenue. For Moto to take 2.25% is $541,710,000 in profit for a single quarter. You can probably add at least another $100 million for the iPad. As SDW2001 says, "Good luck with that, Moto."

Well, Motorola needs some way to make money. Considering Google, just dropped the Xoom from official support on their page, and the fact that they posted a loss this past quarter, maybe this is their only option to stay solvent and maintain their near $40 per share stock, in order for the deal with Google to continue.

Personally, I hope the EU does find them in violation, gives them a hefty fine, followed by Apple suing them again (and this time with Google) and winning another $billion or so.
post #5 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

... Personally, I hope the EU does find them in violation, gives them a hefty fine, followed by Apple suing them again (and this time with Google) and winning another $billion or so.

I love how it's the European Union that's really taking the ball forward here.

It's like they are hardly bothering with the US legal system at all. It's nice to see some legal standards set in the world and for the EU to show how corrupt and toothless the US legal system is.
post #6 of 140
2.5%, what's that, about twice the total value of Motorola as a company?
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post #7 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


It's like they are hardly bothering with the US legal system at all. It's nice to see some legal standards set in the world and for the EU to show how corrupt and toothless the US legal system is.

There is a human tendency to over praise (or over despise) what is strange to our culture. Not being an expert on those matters, I will not try to argue... It is different, for sure, although trying to achieve the same goals (protection of innovators, benefit to the consumers ..).

The main difference, as I see it, seems to be about software, for which the two systems have different approaches. But this is probably a very superficial judgement.
post #8 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

2.5%, what's that, about twice the total value of Motorola as a company?

Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) has a current market cap of $11.67 billion, about $1 billion less than what Google paid for them. If they win this licensing they'd be making about $3-4 billion from Apple in 2012. That's pure profit and would make them the most profitable company in the handset market after Apple.

(Just to be clear, I don't think Moto has any chance of winning this.)

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post #9 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post

There is a human tendency to over praise (or over despise) what is strange to our culture. Not being an expert on those matters, I will not try to argue... It is different, for sure, although trying to achieve the same goals (protection of innovators, benefit to the consumers ..).

The main difference, as I see it, seems to be about software, for which the two systems have different approaches. But this is probably a very superficial judgement.

So nice to read a reasoned comment Having lived half my life nearly in the US and the first half in the UK I can attest to your sentiment. My only real gripe is the American system removing 4 oz of beer in every pint
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #10 of 140
How do they justify charging a percentage of revenue? Shouldn't it be a fixed amount per device? Are they saying that a device with many other features not related to their patent (and higher in price) gets more value from using the patent? That does not seem fair and reasonable to me.
post #11 of 140
In other news, Florian Mueller said...

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #12 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) has a current market cap of $11.67 billion, about $1 billion less than what Google paid for them. If they win this licensing they'd be making about $3-4 billion from Apple in 2012. That's pure profit and would make them the most profitable company in the handset market after Apple.

(Just to be clear, I don't think Moto has any chance of winning this.)

Do you think this may be the point at which Apple takes the gloves off regarding Google. I understand the reasoning behind Apple going after Android OEMs thus far but this was a planned strategy from the get go by Google when buying MotoMob I suspect.
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post #13 of 140
Like other Apple fans in this forum say:
Quit whining about the 2.25% cut or go somewhere else!
There is a rule book for Apple and one for everyone else on this planet?
post #14 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by rBels View Post

There is a rule book for Apple and one for everyone else on this planet?

And what "rule book" would that be?

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post #15 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So nice to read a reasoned comment Having lived half my life nearly in the US and the first half in the UK I can attest to your sentiment. My only real gripe is the American system removing 4 oz of beer in every pint

I will not try to open the Pandora box of the metric system (especially with the British part of your personality ...). Just to remind the amazing story of Jean-Baptiste Delambre & Pierre Méchain, who spend seven years of their life (without seeing their wifes, from 1792 to 1799), triangulating the distance from Dunkerque to Barcelone, to establish the definition of the meter.

This could be now performed instantaneously by a satellite ... They overcome numerous difficulties, including the fact that during one part of this period France & Spain where fighting each other, which was not a favorable circumstance for scientific cooperation ....
post #16 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by rBels View Post

Like other Apple fans in this forum say:
Quit whining about the 2.25% cut or go somewhere else!
There is a rule book for Apple and one for everyone else on this planet?

I'm sure you will equally supportive of any decision if Apple win the appeal.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #17 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post

I will not try to open the Pandora box of the metric system (especially with the British part of your personality ...). Just to remind the amazing story of Jean-Baptiste Delambre & Pierre Méchain, who spend seven years of their life (without seeing their wifes, from 1792 to 1799), triangulating the distance from Dunkerque to Barcelone, to establish the definition of the meter.

This could be now performed instantaneously by a satellite ... They overcome numerous difficulties, including the fact that during one part of this period France & Spain where fighting each other, which was not a favorable circumstance for scientific cooperation ....

I didn't know that story, thank you for sharing. I am as you can imagine stuck half way between systems. I grew up with the antiquaited British Imperial System only to move half way through the conversion. Money was metric but not measurements. Now the UK is ahead of the USA in this matter. It is useful to have my widgets for conversions.
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post #18 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I didn't know that story, thank you for sharing. I am as you can imagine stuck half way between systems. I grew up with the antiquaited British Imperial System only to move half way through the conversion. Money was metric but not measurements. Now the UK is ahead of the USA in this matter. It is useful to have my widgets for conversions.

I found the UK to be more messed up with it came to measurements. They use imperial units and metrics, MPH and KPH for road speed, F and C for temp depending on which sounds more extreme, and still use stones as a valid unit of mass.

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post #19 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by rBels View Post

Like other Apple fans in this forum say:
Quit whining about the 2.25% cut or go somewhere else!
There is a rule book for Apple and one for everyone else on this planet?

You seem to be confusing Apple's terms for participants in the App Store market it created...

... with Motorola promising to give a patent FRAND licensing terms to build an open industry standard and then turning around and demanding half a billion dollars a quarter from Apple because it uses chips that already licensed the technology.

One is a reasonable, supporting cost of benefitting from market Apple created and maintains, where the terms were clear from the start and for a service (retail) that more typically takes a 50% cut...

and the other is a mix of fraudulent backtracking on promises, attempted monopolization of a market Motorola did not create, and double charging over a flimsy patent claim.

What's most interesting is the extremely foul pretense of righteousness Google so publicly announced when it realized it needed to pay $12 billion for Motorola lest it lose the only exclusive Android licensee to Microsoft: saying Android was "under frivolous patent attack" and that Motorola would defend the platform.

Instead, Google's new acquisition has been fueled with the most phony, patent trolling desperate cash grab strategy imaginable. After stealing everything about the iPhone from Apple apart from its profitability, Google is now trying to steal Apple's earnings through extremely shady attempts to subvert the open standards process into a way to patent troll worthless old pager patents.
post #20 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by rBels View Post

Like other Apple fans in this forum say:
Quit whining about the 2.25% cut or go somewhere else!
There is a rule book for Apple and one for everyone else on this planet?

In this case, yes there is. They're called frand patents and they are governed by a different set of rules than normal patents. Try to keep up now
post #21 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) has a current market cap of $11.67 billion, about $1 billion less than what Google paid for them. If they win this licensing they'd be making about $3-4 billion from Apple in 2012. That's pure profit and would make them the most profitable company in the handset market after Apple.

(Just to be clear, I don't think Moto has any chance of winning this.)

Except the patent in question doesn't apply to the iPhone 4S (because it uses a Qualcomm chip instead) so the amont going forward Apple would have to pay is considerably less than what you are predicting.
post #22 of 140
Moto can only win this if they provide evidence that this is what they receive from other licensees. If they don't and if they receive a far lower figure then they will be in serious trouble as this will prove that they are trying to strong-arm/extort fees from Apple.

Of course, if they do receive fees of this amount from other licensees then they would be making a hell of a lot more money than they currently do.
post #23 of 140
One more royalty payment by Apple to its competitors.

The figures add up.

Next time you purchase another iProduct, a part of your payment goes to your hated rivals of Apple.

How does that make you feel?

This is the difference between companies researching basic, ground breaking technology vs those companies who research its applications.

Application patents you can always get around, basic research patents you certainly can not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

How do they justify charging a percentage of revenue? Shouldn't it be a fixed amount per device? Are they saying that a device with many other features not related to their patent (and higher in price) gets more value from using the patent? That does not seem fair and reasonable to me.


Nothing in the FRAND law that states what is "reasonable".

Its all up to the owners discretion.

Each patent holder makes the shot.

If the licensee dont pay up, they get sued or be barred from using it.

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post #24 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Except the patent in question doesn't apply to the iPhone 4S (because it uses a Qualcomm chip instead) so the amont going forward Apple would have to pay is considerably less than what you are predicting.

I'm basing Moto's take on their assumption that Apple is not covered under Qualcomm's licensing agreement.

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post #25 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm basing Moto's take on their assumption that Apple is not covered under Qualcomm's licensing agreement.

IIRC Qualcomm chips do carry the license...but this isn't about Qualcomm chips.
post #26 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

IIRC Qualcomm chips do carry the license...but this isn't about Qualcomm chips.

"[Apple] argued that its devices could potentially be covered by extension under its own license for baseband chips from Qualcomm."

Hence my original comment.

If you and Orlando are claiming that because Qualcomm makes the chip in the 4S and that it somehow automatically covers all patents that Moto is suing for despite the 4S using a world mode chip with 4 GSM bands and 5 UMTS bands then you need to show that is the case.

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post #27 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

"[Apple] argued that its devices could potentially be covered by extension under its own license for baseband chips from Qualcomm."

Hence my original comment.

Damnit now I have to reread what I thought I knew...lol. Every other article I've read was sure to specify that these chips are not Qualcomm's...
post #28 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

"[Apple] argued that its devices could potentially be covered by extension under its own license for baseband chips from Qualcomm."

Hence my original comment.

If you and Orlando are claiming that because Qualcomm makes the chip in the 4S and that it somehow automatically covers all patents that Moto is suing for despite the 4S using a world mode chip with 4 GSM bands and 5 UMTS bands then you need to show that is the case.

No I'm saying I believe the 4S is untouchable because it uses a Qualcomm chip.

edit: I'm lost actually...
post #29 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I love how it's the European Union that's really taking the ball forward here.

It's like they are hardly bothering with the US legal system at all. It's nice to see some legal standards set in the world and for the EU to show how corrupt and toothless the US legal system is.

The EU is as bent as a nine bob note. Don't be fooled.
post #30 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

No I'm saying I believe the 4S is untouchable because it uses a Qualcomm chip.

Then defend that position because Qualcomm manufacturing a chip doesn't mean that it automatically gets all patent rights to the technologies in that chip. You need to remember that Qualcomm has patens with wireless standards but that it uses technologies it doesn't own in order to manufacture their chips, especially in the non-CDMA related technologies.

Again, defend this position that Qualcomm being the manufacture somehow nullifies all other cellular technology patents.

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post #31 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Wireless devices is missleading. It's only cellular networks, excluding WiFi, Bluetooth, et al. That means it's just the iPhone and 3G iPads.

2) Looking at just the iPhone, last quarter sold 37.04 million and had an average sale price of $650(?) which comes out to $24,076,000,000 in revenue. For Moto to take 2.25% is $541,710,000 in profit for a single quarter. You can probably add at least another $100 million for the iPad. As SDW2001 says, "Good luck with that, Moto."

Moto/Google are insane.
Apple pays for example Nokia 1 dollar per 3G device.

Moto/Google may have right for the same amount. Still many many millions.
post #32 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Then defend that position because Qualcomm manufacturing a chip doesn't mean that it automatically gets all patent rights to the technologies in that chip. You need to remember that Qualcomm has patens with wireless standards but that it uses technologies it doesn't own in order to manufacture their chips, especially in the non-CDMA related technologies.

Are we arguing? I literally was forcibly woken up from a much needed nap to make last minute changes on 3 projects...I'm only semi awake so I'm not sure if I'm debating something or not.

Cause I'm either losing an argument I didn't know I was in or I'm being informed of things I didn't know...possibly both.
post #33 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

Are we arguing? I literally was forcibly woken up from a much needed nap to make last minute changes on 3 projects...I'm only semi awake so I'm not sure if I'm debating something or not.

Cause I'm either losing an argument I didn't know I was in or I'm being informed of things I didn't know...possibly both.

Arguing as in "give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action, or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one's view" not the more colloquial and sensationalist "exchange or expressing of diverging or opposite views, typically in a heated or angry way."

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #34 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I found the UK to be more messed up with it came to measurements. They use imperial units and metrics, MPH and KPH for road speed, F and C for temp depending on which sounds more extreme, and still use stones as a valid unit of mass.

Dunno which bit of the UK you went to.

Weights are both imperial and metric, as are volumes (petrol/milk/alcohol).

Temperature has been for a very long time Celsius.

Distances and speeds are imperial. Try telling a Policeman that you were doing 100km/h in a 60mph zone for instance.
post #35 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I found the UK to be more messed up with it came to measurements. They use imperial units and metrics, MPH and KPH for road speed, F and C for temp depending on which sounds more extreme, and still use stones as a valid unit of mass.

I lived in the UK for the past few years, and I don't know where you saw roadsigns with kph? And the only time sky, top gear or bbc mentioned F for weather was when dealing with some US based topic. And it is Stone for weight, not stones. Do you know how much a Stone is?

Makes me think you spent a weekend in the UK and now seem to think you know the country.
post #36 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Moto can only win this if they provide evidence that this is what they receive from other licensees. If they don't and if they receive a far lower figure then they will be in serious trouble as this will prove that they are trying to strong-arm/extort fees from Apple.

Of course, if they do receive fees of this amount from other licensees then they would be making a hell of a lot more money than they currently do.

That's it in a nutshell. FRAND makes it easy. Motorola merely has to show what they're getting from other licensees. If it's less than 2.25%, Moto's attorneys and negotiators messed up big time.

The only other issue is whether the baseband chip supplier already had a license that covers Motorola's patents and whether that license is transferred to Apple. Again, this should be very easy to determine - pull out the license agreement and see what it says.

There are no major issues here that can't be resolved very simply.
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post #37 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

I lived in the UK for the past few years, and I don't know where you saw roadsigns with kph? And the only time sky, top gear or bbc mentioned F for weather was when dealing with some US based topic. And it is Stone for weight, not stones. Do you know how much a Stone is?

Makes me think you spent a weekend in the UK and now seem to think you know the country.

Can you ever forgive me for adding an 's' to a word I only ever use in a manner that does get an 's' when pluralized. I guess I could point out that stone isn't capitalized mid-sentence but that would just be pedantic. This isn't German we're using.

Watch the telly the next time the weather spikes to 38° in parts of the UK. You'll see reports of 100°F because it sounds more dramatic.

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post #38 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Arguing as in "give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action, or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one's view" not the more colloquial and sensationalist "exchange or expressing of diverging or opposite views, typically in a heated or angry way."

I wasn't making a claim. I was stating what I recalled.
post #39 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's it in a nutshell. FRAND makes it easy. Motorola merely has to show what they're getting from other licensees. If it's less than 2.25%, Moto's attorneys and negotiators messed up big time.

The only other issue is whether the baseband chip supplier already had a license that covers Motorola's patents and whether that license is transferred to Apple. Again, this should be very easy to determine - pull out the license agreement and see what it says.

There are no major issues here that can't be resolved very simply.

I think Moto is grasping at straws here. I don't see how they can possibly have a case. The number of companies that have would have to mess up in a major way for Moto to have a case would be staggering.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #40 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Then defend that position because Qualcomm manufacturing a chip doesn't mean that it automatically gets all patent rights to the technologies in that chip. You need to remember that Qualcomm has patens with wireless standards but that it uses technologies it doesn't own in order to manufacture their chips, especially in the non-CDMA related technologies.

Again, defend this position that Qualcomm being the manufacture somehow nullifies all other cellular technology patents.

The arguement is you don't get to charge the licensing fee twice. So if Qualcomm has already paid the licensing fee on each chip it sells to Apple) then Apple should not need to pay the fee a second time.
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  • Motorola seeking 2.25% of Apple's sales for standard-essential patent license
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Motorola seeking 2.25% of Apple's sales for standard-essential patent license