Judge dismisses Apple's FRAND-related lawsuit against Motorola

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2014
A federal judge on Monday tossed Apple's suit against Motorola, which claimed the Google-owned company was participating in unfair licensing practices regarding declared standards-essential patents, effectively canceling a trial that was over a year and a half in the making.

On the day that an Apple v. Motorola Mobility trial was set to start, Wisconsin District Court Judge Barbara B. Crabb dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning Apple must go through an appeals process to reassert the claims.

694
Minutes from the dismissal of Wisconsin's Apple v. Motorola FRAND trial.
Source: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin


As noted by FOSS Patent's Florian Mueller, the decision comes after Motorola brought a "motion for guidance" last Tuesday, requesting Apple sign a licensing deal on court-determined terms. Apple subsequently said it would agree to any court terms that put the license at $1 or less per iPhone sold.

Interestingly, Mueller said that Judge Crabb became uncertain about the need for a FRAND trial that was already prepared for by both the court and the two parties. Further cementing the jurist's skepticism was Motorola's argument that, based on Apple's reasoning, the company could later refuse to pay Apple royalties for essential patents.

In response, Apple outlined two separate scenarios in which Motorola would be either bound by the precedent established as an outcome of the trial, or the Cupertino company would build an evidentiary record in the coming months and hold a trial to set the rate for patent cross-licensing.

Judge Crabb was apparently not persuaded by Apple's solution, and chose to toss the trial. Mueller believes the judge was solution oriented and could have helped decide a fair outcome to the FRAND rate-setting trial.

"As long as she considered Apple to be genuinely interested in a solution, as opposed to protracted litigation, she was definitely willing to help put an end to Motorola's wireless SEP assertions against Apple," Mueller wrote. "But when she started to doubt Apple's intentions, the case fell apart."

It is likely that an appeal will follow, though Motorola may face an antitrust lawsuit in the intervening days or weeks, possibly confusing matters for the Wisconsin suit's timeline.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member


    Short short short short. :D

  • Reply 2 of 71


    The minutes are in Myriad Pro. 


     


    Funny,

  • Reply 3 of 71
    She didn't have to be so crabby about it...
  • Reply 4 of 71
    What does this mean?
  • Reply 5 of 71
    eluardeluard Posts: 319member


    This is quite bizarre. Why would a judge act like this?

  • Reply 6 of 71
    Wisconsin. Why?
  • Reply 7 of 71
    This is fucking ridiculous...
  • Reply 8 of 71
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,732member


    Strange. The reasoning seems to be that the judge felt Apple's conditional offer of up to $1/device demonstrated they were not serious and were instead interested in dragging it out. Seems to me that the offer was very reasonable. What was Apple supposed to offer? Moto was asking for insane royalties, so why wasn't action taken against them?

  • Reply 9 of 71


    In addition to jettisoning Forstall and Browett, Cook should quickly remove Bruce Sewell and get a more diplomatic legal chief and dispense with the arrogance and foolish behavior that has resulted in stalemates, losses, and a very poor / embarrassing pubic image.  They did get the major jury victory against Samsung but that was despite themselves.  Down the road, they are almost certainly in for some serious spankings unless they replace Mr. Sewell and take a more measured and professional approach without the foolish and surly behavior.

  • Reply 10 of 71
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,960member
    So, what the **** was the reason this was cancelled? Cause the judge was having a shitty day? WTF? This is a very legitimate case. Or is the judge just trying to follow in the ridiculous footsteps of the UK judge?
  • Reply 11 of 71
    This will be appealed, and the judge will probably be shown as being completely out of her depth.
  • Reply 12 of 71


    Whatever happened, look to The Verge or elsewhere for a more thorough legal analysis.

  • Reply 13 of 71
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    eluard wrote: »
    This is quite bizarre. Why would a judge act like this?

    Because the judge is a wanker?

    There is a clear disagreement and a need for judicial resolution. Apple proposed one solution, but the judge is not bound by that. All Apple said was that they'd agree to pay up to $1, but if it's more than that they would appeal.

    So what? It's up to the judge to decide how much is appropriate - and if Apple wants to appeal, they're free to do so whether they warn the judge about it before hand or not.

    The judge is saying that he's so uncertain of his decision making ability that he's afraid to subject his decision to judicial appeal.
    This will be appealed, and the judge will probably be shown as being completely out of her depth.

    Undoubtedly. The judge has no legitimate grounds for dismissing the case.
  • Reply 14 of 71


    Just like Posner, she decided to punt.

  • Reply 15 of 71

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    Undoubtedly. The judge has no legitimate grounds for dismissing the case.


    Thanks for the clarification Your Hon...oh wait. 


     


     


     


    Quote:


    I think Apple missed an opportunity to make important headway against Motorola Mobility. I don't know Judge Crabb and I didn't attend any of the hearings, but I read her orders and I really thought she was very solution-oriented. In fact, I thought she would have been a great judge to preside over a FRAND rate-setting trial -- a judge that I think an implementer of FRAND standards could really have trusted to arrive at a fair decision. -FOSS



    Oops.

  • Reply 16 of 71
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    There goes [URL=http://www.sisvel.eu/index.php/lte/introduction]Sisvel's[/URL] plans for a "0.99€ per device" LTE patent pool.

    Who will contribute patents now Google's greed has destroyed this model?
  • Reply 17 of 71

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post


    In addition to jettisoning Forstall and Browett, Cook should quickly remove Bruce Sewell and get a more diplomatic legal chief and dispense with the arrogance and foolish behavior that has resulted in stalemates, losses, and a very poor / embarrassing pubic image.  They did get the major jury victory against Samsung but that was despite themselves.  Down the road, they are almost certainly in for some serious spankings unless they replace Mr. Sewell and take a more measured and professional approach without the foolish and surly behavior.



    Embarrassing pubic images are my specialty, I'll have you know.

  • Reply 18 of 71

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Eluard View Post


    This is quite bizarre. Why would a judge act like this?



     


    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012110322254380


     


    From the judge's order:


     


    ...Apple states that it will not commit to be bound by any FRAND rate determined by the court and will not agree to accept any license from Motorola unless the court sets a rate of $1 or less for each Apple phone....


     


    In other words, if Apple is unsatisfied with the rate chosen by the court, it “reserves the right to refuse and proceed to further infringement litigation.” ... Despite its position, Apple maintains that it is entitled to specific performance in the form of the court determining what a FRAND rate is for Motorola’s patents. At the final pretrial conference, I asked Apple to explain why it believed the court should determine a FRAND rate even though the rate may not resolve the parties’ licensing or infringement disputes. I questioned whether it was appropriate for a court to undertake the complex task of determining a FRAND rate if the end result would be simply a suggestion that could be used later as a bargaining chip between the parties. Apple responded that the rate would resolve the dispute in this particular case, namely, whether Motorola’s license offer was FRAND and if not, what the rate should have been.


     


    Apple’s response was not satisfactory and did not assuage my concerns about determining a FRAND rate that may be used solely as a negotiating tool between the parties. After further consideration, I believe it would be inappropriate to grant Apple’s clarified request for specific performance.


     


     


    As I explained at the final pretrial conference, courts are not in the best position to determine a FRAND rate for a portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents that would be used later in licensing negotiations between two highly sophisticated parties. Both parties in this case employ licensing experts whose job it is to negotiate these types of licenses and who are in a much better position than the court to determine a FRAND rate. Apple’s request that the court determine the FRAND rate places an enormous and possibly unjustifiable burden on the judiciary’s resources. In light of this reality, it would not be in the public interest for the court to spend such enormous resources to determine a FRAND rate that may ultimately lead only to additional litigation and would set a troubling precedent for future cases involving FRAND commitments.

     

     


     


    Apple basically said that they no desire to commit to the court's rate if it isn't what they want. So the judge said, hey, then why waste the court's time? FU Apple. 

  • Reply 19 of 71

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    The judge is saying that he's so uncertain of his decision making ability that he's afraid to subject his decision to judicial appeal.


     Barbara is a he?

  • Reply 20 of 71
    hjbhjb Posts: 278member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post


     


    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012110322254380


     


    From the judge's order:


     


    ...Apple states that it will not commit to be bound by any FRAND rate determined by the court and will not agree to accept any license from Motorola unless the court sets a rate of $1 or less for each Apple phone....


     


    In other words, if Apple is unsatisfied with the rate chosen by the court, it “reserves the right to refuse and proceed to further infringement litigation.” ... Despite its position, Apple maintains that it is entitled to specific performance in the form of the court determining what a FRAND rate is for Motorola’s patents. At the final pretrial conference, I asked Apple to explain why it believed the court should determine a FRAND rate even though the rate may not resolve the parties’ licensing or infringement disputes. I questioned whether it was appropriate for a court to undertake the complex task of determining a FRAND rate if the end result would be simply a suggestion that could be used later as a bargaining chip between the parties. Apple responded that the rate would resolve the dispute in this particular case, namely, whether Motorola’s license offer was FRAND and if not, what the rate should have been.


     


    Apple’s response was not satisfactory and did not assuage my concerns about determining a FRAND rate that may be used solely as a negotiating tool between the parties. After further consideration, I believe it would be inappropriate to grant Apple’s clarified request for specific performance.


     


     


    As I explained at the final pretrial conference, courts are not in the best position to determine a FRAND rate for a portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents that would be used later in licensing negotiations between two highly sophisticated parties. Both parties in this case employ licensing experts whose job it is to negotiate these types of licenses and who are in a much better position than the court to determine a FRAND rate. Apple’s request that the court determine the FRAND rate places an enormous and possibly unjustifiable burden on the judiciary’s resources. In light of this reality, it would not be in the public interest for the court to spend such enormous resources to determine a FRAND rate that may ultimately lead only to additional litigation and would set a troubling precedent for future cases involving FRAND commitments.

     

     


     


    Apple basically said that they no desire to commit to the court's rate if it isn't what they want. So the judge said, hey, then why waste the court's time? FU Apple. 



     


    This! 

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