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Apple Looks to Renew FRAND Licensing Suit Versus Motorola

Apple Looks to Renew FRAND Licensing Suit Versus Motorola

Because Apple’s lawyers don’t have enough to do, Tuesday saw the company ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. to renew a lawsuit against Motorola for alleged unreasonable licensing fees for their declared-essential cellphone technology.

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AppleInsider reports Apple’s counsel requested the court to revive a lawsuit against Google’s Motorola Mobility over a FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) contract. Apple claims Motorola charged unreasonable rates for its declared essential 3G cellular technology.

Apple claims Motorola “demand[ed] that Apple take a license at a rate that was more than 12 times what Motorola was charging other licensees for the same technology—a rate that was unfair, unreasonable, and decidedly discriminatory.”

Motorola had asked Apple for 2.25% of the sale of each iPhone. That would come to about $12 per iPhone, or “12 times what Apple was already paying to license Motorola’s SEPs.”

Motorola’s attorney, Kathleen Sullivan, said a “a reasonable rate can be different for different implementers,”and says Apple never responded to the company’s “opening offer.” Apple later offered to pay $1 per iPhone, but Motorola refused.

The case is an extension of a FRAND-related action that a Wisconsin district court dismissed in 2012.

Motorola Mobility was recently sold by Google to Lenovo in a January deal worth $2.91 billion. The deal is currently awaiting regulatory approval. As part of the deal, Google will hold onto the “vast majority” of Motorola patents, but it is unknown if that includes the patents being used by Motorola in the current case against Apple.

Apple and Motorola have a suit pending in Florida over another batch of patent claims. A trial is scheduled to begin in August with the parties asserting a total of eight patents.

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