Google’s Motorola Mobility inks standard-essential patent license deal with Apple in Germany

“In the aftermath of Apple’s resounding U.S. court victory over Samsung, analysts again ask the question whether its acquisition of Motorola Mobility has enabled Google to protect Android against patent assertions — and the consensus answer to this question is ‘no,'” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents. “I expressed serious doubts (to say the least) about that deal from the day of its announcement. Many people were impressed by the sheer size of Motorola Mobility’s portfolio, but leverage, as opposed to size, is the right measure.”

“In a filing made late on Monday (August 27, 2012) with the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, the Google subsidiary has now confirmed the recent conclusion of a standard-essential patent license agreement with Apple,” Mueller reports. “Under the agreement, Apple is now licensed to use some if not all of Motorola’s standard-essential patents in Germany, though the parties have not yet agreed on a FRAND royalty rate, which will ultimately have to be set by German courts unless they agree on a rate prior to its judicial determination.”

Mueller reports, “This is a very significant development because it means that Motorola Mobility will have to rely on non-standard-essential patents in its efforts to gain leverage over Apple… Apple will be happy to pay FRAND royalties as long as it can pursue differentiation. Why did Google just pay $12.5 billion [for Motorola Mobility]?”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brawndo Drinker,” Dan K.,” and “Sarah” for the heads up.]


  1. Well Florian was so utterly wrong and out to lunch on the Oracle vs. Google trial that maybe he just needs a little hint on this one:

    The last lawsuit filed by Moto against Apple was for patents that are not FRAND patents.

    Mueller…… ? Mueller……?

    1. Yes, but Google/Motorola was using the FRAND patents to try and leverage Apple into paying non-standard, higher rates for said FRAND patents and, in all likelihood, higher rates for the non-essential patents too. In reality, this was little more than corporate blackmail and it is failing.

      In the broad scheme of things, it’s no big deal if Apple has to license an old patent or two here or there to become fully vested in modern mobile phone manufacturing. That’s to be expected because Apple is the industry upstart after all. And all along, Apple has been willing to pay FRAND rates for the standards patents.

      But make no mistake, in the face of the European Union investigation into Google’s illegal use of standards-essential FRAND patents, the U.S. search giant, which now owns Motorola, just blinked. After the Apple-Samsung ruling in the U.S., that’s two strikes against Google’s business plan of copying iOS.

      Long ago, I reluctantly concluded that Google was fast becoming an evil, cutthroat company that consumers should avoid where possible. This capitulation on the standards-essential patents, the ongoing privacy violations, and the Apple-Samsung U.S. ruling underscore Google’s new reputation.

      Would I ever buy a cell phone or tablet computer from an advertising company that wants access to all my contacts and Web surfing habits? No way.

      1. “Would I ever buy a cell phone or tablet computer from an advertising company that wants access to all my contacts and Web surfing habits?”

        Somewhere in a secret Google laboratory, I envision an algorithmic master class of boy geniuses working to bring to life something they might call the You Engine, integrating the differential equation that is You… Thanks to that mobile device you’re always carrying, they will know who and where you are, how fast you are going, when you will arrive, who will be there, what the two of you will do and for how long, what you said and what you were thinking, and what you will do next. Godlike!

    2. So what?

      Florian Mueller didn’t agree with the courts in Oracle v Google, so you interpret that to mean that Moto’s lawsuit is a threat to Apple.

      You just give me a wake-up call when Moto prevails in that lawsuit. Or when you know 1/100th as much about the subject as Florian Mueller.

  2. Why did Google just pay $12.5 billion [for Motorola Mobility]?”

    Simple answer: Google is dumb and dumber, with a side of stupid arrogant fool.

    I sure am happy I own Apple stock and not Google.

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