Apple and Motorola reach patent licensing deal in Germany

FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller claims that Motorola Mobility has reached a licensing deal with Apple that significantly clips the Google subsidiary's wings in the ongoing Apple vs Android patent war.





Motorola Mobility was being considered to be one of Google's strongest bastions of intellectual property rights. After all, the whole host of patents that Moto had built up in its armory seemed to be the only conceivable reason for Google choosing to buy a long struggling phone manufacturer in a whopping $12 billion deal.


After the very public mauling that Samsung Electronics received in court a couple of days back, thanks to its $1.05 billion patent suit loss to the Cupertino company, there have been worries that Android's future was in danger.  Apple has clearly crippled Samsung, the largest Android OEM, and hence, the largest hurdle in its attempts at systematically dismantling the Android ecosystem.


Google's major ace up its sleeve against Apple's perceived 'thermonuclear war' against Android was its own patents, and it depended in large part upon Motorola's standards essential patents - patents that could absolutely bludgeon the basic functionality of 'infringing' smartphones if need be. Unfortunately for Motorola and Google, the EU has severe restrictions placed on standards essential FRAAND patents. This means that Apple has managed to get a cut price settlement deal on potentially unavoidable cases of patent infringement.


FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller sums it up perfectly in the following excerpt from his latest blog post:


"Motorola placed particular hopes on one jurisdiction: Germany, a country in which a finding of infringement automatically results in an injunction, the only exception being standard-essential patents, to which certain German courts apply the Orange-Book-Standard framework. The Orange-Book-Standard line is that an implementer of an industry standard seeking to avoid an injunction over a patent essential to the relevant standard must make an offer to take a license on terms that the patent holder cannot refuse without flagrantly violating antitrust law."



Motorola faces a tough task ahead now - it needs to fight Apple on level terms, and the Cupertino company is far too experienced in patent battles to have too many issues in dealing with whatever's thrown their way now.

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