Apple Motorola Patent Case Dismissed By US Court

Judge dismisses case after Apple refuses to pay more than $1 for standards essential patents

A US Federal Judge has thrown out Apple’s claim that Motorola Mobility was seeking excessive royalty payments for its standards essential patents (SEP).

Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning that the only way that Apple can salvage its claims is through an appeal, not through a refilling.

The two companies had been disputing how much Apple should pay Google-owned Motorola for its cellular SEPs, which must be made available under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

Apple Motorola patent dispute

Motorola had been seeking 2.25 percent of every Apple product that used some of its patents, but Apple said that this was too high. Motorola asked the court to set what it believed was a fair price, but Apple argued that it would not pay more than $1 (£0.60) on any of its products.

Analyst Florian Mueller said that Apple’s hardball stance counted against it in court, as things had been going well for the iPhone manufacturer until that point.

“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,” explained Mueller. “But when she started to doubt Apple’s intentions, the case fell apart.”

Motorola said that it was still open to negotiations with Apple and that it was interested in reaching an agreement to license the SEPs under FRAND terms. It is believed that Apple will appeal the ruling, but if it fails, Motorola could have the upper hand in any such negotiations.

Apple filed a complaint against Motorola with the European Commission earlier this year, accusing the American company of using its FRAND patents to block sales. Google completed its £8 billion takeover of Motorola Mobility in May, partly in order to gain access to a portfolio of 17,000 patents, estimated to be worth £3.5 billion.

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