Apple and Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility will face off in a Wisconsin courtroom next week, unless Motorola accepts a settlement offer from Apple. Apple has offered to pay no more than $1 for every device it sells that uses the Motorola technology.
Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reported, “Five days ahead of a FRAND contract trial in the Western District of Wisconsin, Apple has formally declared to the court its willingness to pay Motorola Mobility for a license to its standard-essential wireless patents (‘wireless’ meaning cellular and WiFi standards in this context), but it will only write an immediate check to the wholly-owned Google subsidiary if the per-unit royalty does not exceed $1. If the court sets a FRAND rate at or below $1, Apple will take a license and start to pay right away. Otherwise Apple will appeal the decision and exhaust all of its legal options before Google gets anything.”
Computerworld’s Martyn Williams explained, “The patents in question are considered vital to the UMTS, GPRS, GSM and 802.11 standards in which they are used, so Motorola Mobility is required to license them to competitors on “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms,” often referred to by the acronym FRAND.”
Katie Marsal from Apple Insider noted, “The rate Apple has said it is willing to pay is significantly lower than the 2.25 percent of Apple’s sales that Motorola seeks for standard-essential patents.”
Tuaw’s Randy Nelson observed, “This news comes two months after Apple announced its intent to license similar patents from Motorola in Germany, although the amount it will pay per device there has yet to be determined. In its settlement offering here in the U.S., Apple asked the Wisconsin court to set a rate for licensing the patents in Germany based on a FRAND basis.”