Apple Wants Standardized Patent Licensing

Apple Motorola Lawsuit

The conflict between Apple and Motorola has become interesting in past few weeks. At the moment, Motorola seems to have the upper hand in the ongoing patent lawsuit. Motorola recently won a court decision forcing Apple to remove some of its products from its online store.

However, Apple has determination to fight back. It has claimed that the patents that Motorola is holding against Apple are standards-essential patents (required to function). Such patents should be licensable under Fair, Reasonable, And Non Discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

Motorola wants Apple to pay 2.25% (over $1 billion) of its (Apple’s) sales to it (Motorola). In exchange of that, Motorola will license its patents that it is currently asserting against Apple. Many patents cover iPhone. This is neither fair nor reasonable. Patent expert Florian Mueller called the request excessive, pointing out that many companies held similar standards-essential patents. Apple seems to agree.

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple has urged the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to develop rules for setting appropriate royalty rates related to standards-essential patents. Apple also want to prevent these patents from being used to seek injunctions, as it gives the patent holder a tremendous amount of leverage in royalty negotiations.

Not only Apple, even the European Commission also thinks that Motorola is trying to monopolize patent standards by using its portfolio of standards-essential patents to extort money. The European Commission is currently investigating Motorola on suspicion of anti-trust practices.

Apple should ETSI’s help on this, and fast. Apple was lucky that the product ban in Germany last week was temporary. However, luck may not favor Apple next time.

Do you agree with Apple’s views of Standardized Patent Licensing? Post your comments.

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Source: iDownload Blog

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