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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has received favorable pretrial summary judgments in its patent licensing lawsuit against Motorola Mobility in a Wisconsin court. Apple sued its rival manufacturer in March last year after the latter attempted to collect royalty on iOS products that use essential industry-standard patents.
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The rulings are something of a blow to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion in May and plans to profit from its new unit’s large patent portfolio.
U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that Motorola was obligated to license its patents to Apple on fair terms. Usually, patents deemed industry essential are expected to be provided by companies that hold them to those needing them under licensing terms that are fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory. The practice, called FRAND, in return gives the technology covered by the patent standard status.
Apple said Motorola was seeking to collect 2.25 percent of all net sales for use of patents covering video streaming and Wi-Fi technology. The judge ruled Apple should be a third-party beneficiary of Motorola’s FRAND obligations. Crabb also said Motorola did not identify essential intellectual property rights it held while submitting its application to the ETSI standards body.
Two decisions that went in Motorola’s favor included a partial summary judgment of Apple’s antitrust concerns because it could not prove actual damages, and a dismissal of the iPhone maker’s claim that Motorola interfered with its relationship with chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). The case is scheduled to go to trial on November 5.
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