It seems that the latest chapter in the Apple patent wars is closing without a trial. The case was supposed to begin today in order to decide on a claim by Apple that Motorola Mobility was charging unfair prices for the licensing rights on its industry-standard patents. Apparently, the federal judge assigned to the case has now thrown it out altogether.
Not only was the case thrown out, it was dismissed with prejudice. Basically this means that the case is over at the trial court level but can still be appealed. According to a statement issued by Google, they were very pleased that the lawsuit was thrown out. Motorola further asserts that their prices were fair and that they remain interested in reaching an agreement with Apple to make use of the industry standard patents.
You might be wondering why the federal judge threw this case out. While there were likely several factors, the official court minutes from earlier today don’t tell us much:
“hearing; court finds that case can not proceed to trial on remaining issue; case dismissed with prejudice.”
It is known that Apple had asked the court to set a fair rate for the patents but had already stated that they would only commit to the rate if it was at $1 per iPhone or less. Judge Crabb probably didn’t care for the notion that Apple was asking for a rate to be set but dictating how much they felt it should be. While that’s it for the case right now, expect an appeal.
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So if I understand this correctly, Apple acknowledges they are using Motorola’s patents, but hasn’t been willing to negotiate a fair price.
And these are meaningful patents, stuff they need to produce a phone, not just a patent on rubber band effects, or the like, which Apple deems is enough to have infringing devices removed from the shelf.
Seems like double standards to me.
What I understood was that Apple was suing Motorola, claiming tha Motorola was charging unfair prices for the licensing rights. And Apple stated that they would only commit to pay $1 per iPhone or less.
For now, I think that Apple still have to pay what Google is charging for the licensing rights. But Apple still can appeal.
If Apple don’t appeal and don’t pay, Google can suing Apple for licensing rights.
Not entirely wrong, the other point made by Groklaw was that even if the court agreed with Apple and bound them to a rate which they agreed to at less than $1, they still wanted the right to deem the rate still to high and therefore would not agree to the terms of the court.
So basically they wanted the court to define a rate they ask for with the right to not be bound by that court order.
This from Crapple, who refuses to cross license their patents, in hopes they won’t need to compete in an open market, but instead wishes to rest on their laurels from 2007 until the sun grows cold.