Apple, Motorola file for opposing summary judgments in FRAND case

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Both Apple and Motorola moved for summary judgments on Friday in a case involving the use of certain FRAND patents regarding wireless technology used in a number of 3G-capable iDevices.

The opposing claims were filed in the Western District of Wisconsin where Apple originally filed suit in March 2011 against Motorola over unfair FRAND licensing practices, reports FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller.

Although Friday's filings conflict, both companies are looking to speed up the case as it could have implications in other ongoing lawsuits currently underway in Illinois and Germany.

Motorola is seeking a summary judgment that, if successful, would dismiss most of Apple's claims, while the iPhone maker is looking to receive summary judgment on certain elements of its case that appear to be low-hanging fruit.

Besides the claims themselves almost everything pertaining to the case is sealed, though it can be gleaned from what is available that Motorola is looking to debunk Apple's case at its roots. The issues listed in Motorola's summary include the following:
  • Count I - Equitable Estoppel

  • Count II - Breach of Contract - ETSI/3GPP

  • Count III - Breach of Contract to Which Apple is a Third Party Beneficiary ? ETSI/3GPP

  • Count IV ? Breach of Contract to Which Apple is a Third Party Beneficiary ? IEEE

  • Count V ? False F/RAND Commitments and Deceptive Acts in Violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act

  • Count VI ? Unfair Competition and Unlawful Business Practices in Violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof Code para. 17200, et seq.

  • Count VII ? Declaratory Judgment That Motorola's Offers have not been on F/RAND Terms

  • Count XI ? Declaratory Judgment of No Entitlement to Injunctive Relief

  • Count XII ? Declaratory Judgment of Patent Misuse

  • Count XIII ? Interference with Contract
Mueller sums up the assertions by saying they are a "mix of contract, equitable and antitrust claims, and all of this is about Motorola's FRAND obligations, its alleged breach, and the effect this has on Motorola's patent enforcement." Some of these claims could entitle Apple to damages if Motorola is found to have breached its contract or broken FRAND practices.

Apple's filing involves a more focused agenda that concentrates on only a few points raised by Motorola. The summary states that Apple "moves for partial summary judgment to establish elements of its breach of contract, antitrust, unfair competition, and patent misuse claims." By calling attention to fewer issues in its summary judgment motion, the Cupertino, Calif., company will be able to discuss its case in more detail compared to Motorola's 13 claims.

On Monday, Judge Barbara B. Crabb called for opposition briefs to be handed in on May 30, after which the parties will be able to reply until June 11. A summary judgment hearing is expected to follow with a decision rendered soon after.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member


    I believe any lawyer worth their salt will do this (file a motion for summary judgment).

  • Reply 2 of 6


    Just looking down on this thing from above the atmosphere, I can't see how or why Motorola thinks they have a case at all. It just seems unattainable. 

  • Reply 3 of 6
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,572member
    Just looking down on this thing from above the atmosphere, I can't see how or why Motorola thinks they have a case at all. It just seems unattainable. 

    They have more history in this arena than Apple, so I would not doubt that it is how they have been conducting themselves for many years. It isn't very common that a new player enters the wireless business with their only innovation being user interface or packaging. The problem with looking at it this way is that the user/consumer seems to value user interface and packaging more than the intricacies of the wireless protocols under the hood.

    I have no doubt that the classic ways of valuing telecom patents worked well before the smart phone became the iPhone. Now, the wireless technology seems much more like an internal black box that doesn't deserve $16/device for every company with a wireless patent. It seems like the value is more in line with 10% of the wireless components and software, shared by all the FRAND patent holders in some way. This would place the *total* value of the wireless IP in the device at $15 or so.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member


    For the second time in a week Apple's legal teams have received criticism from judges. A few days ago they were accused of lying to the court with sanctions ordered against Apple in an ITC case involving Motorola. In that one they'll now be paying Moto's additional legal expenses. Now Judge Richard Posner has indicated the end of his patience with continual frivolous Apple filings.


     


    "I deny the second half of Apple’s motion (seeking prohibition of the deposition) as frivolous and the first half (seeking substitution) as untimely. I've had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple. The next such motion, and I shall forbid it to file any motions without first moving for leave to file."


     


    They're not making a great showing the past few days.


     

  • Reply 5 of 6
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    For the second time in a week Apple's legal teams have received criticism from judges. A few days ago they were accused of lying to the court with sanctions ordered against Apple in an ITC case involving Motorola. In that one they'll now be paying Moto's additional legal expenses. Now Judge Richard Posner has indicated the end of his patience with continual frivolous Apple filings.


     


    "I deny the second half of Apple’s motion (seeking prohibition of the deposition) as frivolous and the first half (seeking substitution) as untimely. I've had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple. The next such motion, and I shall forbid it to file any motions without first moving for leave to file."


     


    They're not making a great showing the past few days.


     



     


    OTOH, that judge has just set Apple up to win on appeal even if they lose the original case.  The judge has shown a clear bias against Apple and is ruling based on past history rather than the merits of each motion.

  • Reply 6 of 6
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


     


     


    OTOH, that judge has just set Apple up to win on appeal even if they lose the original case.  The judge has shown a clear bias against Apple and is ruling based on past history rather than the merits of each motion.



     




    How could I have missed that. Part of the master plan, eh? How devious, smart and well-constructed by Apple's legal team. Certainly out-smarted Judge Posner.

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