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Apple reaches patent licensing deal with Motorola in Germany

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Apple and Motorola have inked an agreement in Germany that gives Apple the right to use some, if not all, of Motorola's standard-essential patents in that country.

Intellectual property expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents described the deal as a "significant development" in his analysis published on Tuesday. The deal means that Motorola Mobility, which is owned by Google, will now need to rely on non-standard essential patents in its ongoing patent infringement litigation against Apple.

"With such standard-essential patents, it appears that the only thing Google (Motorola) can do now against Apple in Germany is to push for as high a royalty rate as possible, but even in a hypothetical worst-case scenario to Apple, the limit will be the 2.25% rate that Motorola has been demanding for a long time," Mueller wrote.

The agreement between Apple and Motorola was revealed in a court filing made this week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Though the patent licensing deal came to light this week, it's unknown exactly when the deal was first reached.

"Most likely, this Motorola-Apple license agreement at a FRAND rate left to be determined by the courts was concluded during this month of August," Mueller said.

Google


The details were disclosed only days after the U.S. International Trade Commission completed its review of a Motorola patent infringement complaint against Apple. The ITC ruled against an import ban on Apple's iPhone and iPad, as the commission determined that the devices do not infringe on certain wireless technology patents owned by Motorola Mobility.

Both Apple and Motorola have had some success against one another in patent infringement lawsuits filed in Germany. Late last year, Motorola won a temporary injunction against the iPhone and iPad over 3G patents in Germany, while Apple also earned an injunction against Motorola for violating its slide-to-unlock patent.
post #2 of 25

You shouldn't be able to patent essential stuff anyway. It's really not fair. 

 

 


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post #3 of 25
Is this Motorola or Motorola Mobility in Germany that inked a deal? I assume the former. I am confused as I had thought all the patents in question were now part of Google's war chest.
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post #4 of 25

This a good step, Google is one of my favorite companies along with Apple. No matter how nasty things get I don't want FRAND patents being used. It would be great if Apple and Google would get together and take FRAND patents off the table completely. 

 

Yes ridiculous pinch to zoom and overly broad patents like slide to unlock are still a pain in the bottom, but taking FRAND off the table is an important first step. 

post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

This a good step, Google is one of my favorite companies along with Apple. No matter how nasty things get I don't want FRAND patents being used. It would be great if Apple and Google would get together and take FRAND patents off the table completely. 

Yes ridiculous pinch to zoom and overly broad patents like slide to unlock are still a pain in the bottom, but taking FRAND off the table is an important first step. 

Yes, but this agreement is largely window-dressing.

Apple knew that they were going to have to license FRAND/SEP patents, but couldn't reach an agreement on the price. Today's news simply says that they've put that in writing: "we'll license the patents, but don't agree with the price that Motorola is asking so we want the court to determine the price".

Nothing new here.
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post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

This a good step, Google is one of my favorite companies along with Apple.

 

 

The two are barely comparable. One cares about the User Experience, the other is a bottom-feeding ad-firm.

 

You're free to like what you like, but I've seen some strange tastes . . .

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Is this Motorola or Motorola Mobility in Germany that inked a deal? I assume the former. I am confused as I had thought all the patents in question were now part of Google's war chest.

 

Motorola split into two corporations. Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility. Google bought Moto Mobility which has the patents to all matters Mobile.

 

http://www.motorolasolutions.com/US-EN/Home

 

Products: http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-EN/Business+Product+and+Services

 

http://www.motorolasolutions.com/US-EN/About/Company+Overview/History/Timeline#2010

 

Quote:

2011: Motorola, Inc. Separation
On January 4, 2011, Motorola, Inc. separated into two independent, publicly-traded companies: Motorola Solutions, Inc. and Motorola Mobility, Inc. Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) provided mission-critical communication products and services for enterprise and government customers. Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) made mobile cellular devices and cable video management equipment.

The real value of the former Motorola is Motorola Solutions.

 

The real value is in Motorola Solutions.

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

You shouldn't be able to patent essential stuff anyway. It's really not fair. 

So if you invent, then patent something which eventually ends up being an "essential" standard, you no longer have a right to your important work in the new standard in the first place?
Without all of the hard work that Motorola, Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson et;al put into many "essential" standards which are now licenced, we wouldn't have the excellent products we have today.
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post #9 of 25

So the problem is NOT inherently the patent law, but hard headed CEOs.

Go figure.

 

 

Germany is a country of innovators that value innovation. A thing USA is losing grip with, because largely of the cheap-minded people ( huffingtonPost editors ) .

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

 

The two are barely comparable. One cares about the User Experience, the other is a bottom-feeding ad-firm.

 

You're free to like what you like, but I've seen some strange tastes . . .

I use chrome, I have a galaxy nexus and a nexus 7, I love google drive/docs, calender, gmail, maps, earth. Google makes amazing products, and I love using them on my ipad or macbook. They have different business models. I have no problem about google serving me relevant adds in order to fund the free products I use. 

 

Im a google and Apple lover, depending on how windows 8 is i might soon be a microsoft lover too. I don't like fanboys and I don't worship at the alter of apple, i worship at the alter of great products. 

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

I use chrome, I have a galaxy nexus and a nexus 7, I love google drive/docs, calender, gmail, maps, earth. Google makes amazing products, and I love using them on my ipad or macbook. They have different business models. I have no problem about google serving me relevant adds in order to fund the free products I use. 

 

Im a google and Apple lover, depending on how windows 8 is i might soon be a microsoft lover too. I don't like fanboys and I don't worship at the alter of apple, i worship at the alter of great products. 

 

 

Alright.

 

For me good product is not the gist.

I love apple most for their business model.

 

Apple stands on its own shoulders, almost naked competing with the world.

That is being BRAVE.

I admire that most than any of their product.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

You shouldn't be able to patent essential stuff anyway. It's really not fair. 

It can be fair, as long as it is properly done. But there have been a number of cases where it was not, and major lawsuits ensued. Rambus is the one that comes most readily to mind.

Most standards-setting bodies these days require prior disclosure of any patented or patentable IP early on in the process, and the conditions of submission are that there is an automatic license for any IP claims not so disclosed. The boilerplate language at the front of all recent IETF RFCs is just one example of this.

Apple has been willing to pay FRAND rates for licensing standards-essential patents, and does so to many companies. However, several have abused the rules and demanded royalties on the full value of the device and not just the value contributed by the IP in question. And some have demanded of Apple rates higher than charged to others - a violation of the non-discriminatory requirement.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post


So if you invent, then patent something which eventually ends up being an "essential" standard, you no longer have a right to your important work in the new standard in the first place?
Without all of the hard work that Motorola, Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson et;al put into many "essential" standards which are now licenced, we wouldn't have the excellent products we have today.

You seriously misunderstand.  A SEP (standard essential patent) is not free.  But in exchange for getting your idea used in some world wide patent, you give up the right to stop people from using it and get a small fee from EVERYONE using it.   Its like 2-4% of the cost of the chip used in the hardware.  May not sound like much but add it up over billions of parts.   

Just a thought.

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

You shouldn't be able to patent essential stuff anyway. 
It's the other way around.
Essential stuff doesn't get a patent. It is first patented, then after it starts to get used, it becomes essential.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post

You seriously misunderstand.  A SEP (standard essential patent) is not free.  But in exchange for getting your idea used in some world wide patent, you give up the right to stop people from using it and get a small fee from EVERYONE using it.   Its like 2-4% of the cost of the chip used in the hardware.  May not sound like much but add it up over billions of parts.   

Just a thought.

I am pretty sure that his/her post is in reply to someone who said that essential patents shouldn't be protected at all (which I disagree with).

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post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post


So if you invent, then patent something which eventually ends up being an "essential" standard, you no longer have a right to your important work in the new standard in the first place?
Without all of the hard work that Motorola, Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson et;al put into many "essential" standards which are now licenced, we wouldn't have the excellent products we have today.

Maybe I'm wrong, but the way I understand it; there is an agreement manufacturers to work with one standard for WiFi, 3G, 4G, etc, so that all are not creating their own standard and this leads to interoperability of all competing devices; which benefits the consumer.  All SEP Patent Holders agree to pooling there particular patent to make it an industry standard or Standard Essential Patent [SEP] and as a result of everyone agreeing to use this as an industry standard, the holders of the Patent must agree to Fair Reasonable And Non-Discrimatory licensing of the SEP.  All of the SEP Patent holders collect royalty from everyone who uses the SEP.

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

I use chrome, I have a galaxy nexus and a nexus 7, I love google drive/docs, calender, gmail, maps, earth. Google makes amazing products, and I love using them on my ipad or macbook. They have different business models. I have no problem about google serving me relevant adds in order to fund the free products I use. 

 

Im a google and Apple lover, depending on how windows 8 is i might soon be a microsoft lover too. I don't like fanboys and I don't worship at the alter of apple, i worship at the alter of great products. 

 

How about the two times Google has had to pay the largest fines ever for invading consumer privacy.  They don't just serve ads to those who ask, I realized they were monitoring my searches in Safari.  I would do a search for some condition or something, then get a email from some school 30 minutes later with a related degree.  It seemed odd the first couple of times, but the truth became obvious later.  After I reset Safari and dumped all the cookies it stopped.    
 
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

You shouldn't be able to patent essential stuff anyway. It's really not fair. 


It takes far more research than slide to unlock. Something you don't seem to get is that it's not even essential at the time it's patented. It didn't exist prior to that. Someone invented the sim card. Mobile phones still existed prior to that. You really need to put some thought into your words, unless of course you're being sarcastic. It's just some of the other silliness you've written suggests otherwise.

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

 

How about the two times Google has had to pay the largest fines ever for invading consumer privacy.  They don't just serve ads to those who ask, I realized they were monitoring my searches in Safari.  I would do a search for some condition or something, then get a email from some school 30 minutes later with a related degree.  It seemed odd the first couple of times, but the truth became obvious later.  After I reset Safari and dumped all the cookies it stopped.    
 

You're lucky it stopped after dumping the cookies. Google's way of operating was to override Safari settings, and let advertisers set cookies (and serve related ads) even when Safari was set to block all cookies.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

It's the other way around.
Essential stuff doesn't get a patent. It is first patented, then after it starts to get used, it becomes essential.

Thanks for that...I just tore up thesis. ;-)
post #21 of 25
rė the OP
Apple appears to have played a blinder game of 'good timing'. It's all coming together - Motorola and Samsung being investigated over possible FRAND abuse on two continents, forcing Moto into a corner in the German courts where they have to accept Apple's licensing offer and Samsung's failure to assert infringement of it's SEPs.
Will be interesting to see what the court determines in the way of royalties but I'm willing to bet my cat that it's nowhere near 2.5% of the device's value.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frac View Post

rė the OP
Apple appears to have played a blinder game of 'good timing'. It's all coming together - Motorola and Samsung being investigated over possible FRAND abuse on two continents, forcing Moto into a corner in the German courts where they have to accept Apple's licensing offer and Samsung's failure to assert infringement of it's SEPs.
Will be interesting to see what the court determines in the way of royalties but I'm willing to bet my cat that it's nowhere near 2.5% of the device's value.


You are missing something. It's a starting point for negotiation. Typically things such as cross licensing bring it down, but the 2.5% offer is open to anyone. The point is that it doesn't choke inexpensive devices and helps promote adoption. in countries where phones are not subsidized, the entire population cannot responsibly buy a $750 phone.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

I have no problem about google serving me relevant adds in order to fund the free products I use. 

 

I think you forget stealing, lying etc. but if it makes you feel good..

post #24 of 25
Perhaps I am missing something, but I read it that both Samsung and Appl would allow the court to set the licensing fee level. Not quite sure what the 2.5% rate being 'open to everyone' means other than picking a number out of a hat. My point was that it will be difficult to get payments of 2.5% of the device cost from Apple, when the courts have just recognised that a defacto license was granted via Qualcomm and Intel for the component containing the SEP IP.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frac View Post

Perhaps I am missing something, but I read it that both Samsung and Appl would allow the court to set the licensing fee level. Not quite sure what the 2.5% rate being 'open to everyone' means other than picking a number out of a hat. My point was that it will be difficult to get payments of 2.5% of the device cost from Apple, when the courts have just recognised that a defacto license was granted via Qualcomm and Intel for the component containing the SEP IP.


I'd prefer not to look up all of the references again. There was contention over Qualcomm's handling of licensing fee collections. I don't know if their agreement had any termination clause relevant to litigation from any of Qualcomm's customers against Samsung. This is possible. Apple includes similar stuff in their own licensing agreements. The 2.5% thing is a standard offer. It's basically a worst case scenario. They've shown this as a starting point for others who generally negotiate from that point via cross licensing. None of this stuff is really as clear cut as you want to make it. If it was simple, contracts and documents would not span many pages.

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