Apple wins strategically important modification of dismissal to keep FRAND defense alive against Google’s Motorola

“Apple has won a strategically important modification to a recent dismissal of a FRAND contract lawsuit in the Western District of Wisconsin,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS patents.

“As per an order entered late on Wednesday, the district court’s final ruling, which was originally stated in a minute order as a dismissal with prejudice, has been modified so as to be a dismissal without prejudice as far as the claims Apple wanted to take to trial are concerned,” Mueller reports. “This was key to enable Apple to preserve its FRAND defenses against Google’s (Motorola Mobility’s) ongoing or future infringement actions over standard-essential patents (SEPs).”

Mueller reports, “If Judge Crabb meant (and I’m not suggesting that this is the reason, just speaking hypothetically) that a dismissal with prejudice would have been too much of an encouragement for Google to keep on suing Apple for SEP infringement (without having to overcome at least certain FRAND defenses and fend off certain FRAND counterclaims), then I would agree that this would indeed have made arbitration less likely to happen (and it’s difficult enough to work out even under the current circumstances).”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple and Google disagree on key parameters of potential FRAND arbitration, including scope – November 16, 2012
Google’s Motorola says it wants binding arbitration to resolve Apple’s FRAND patent claims – November 15, 2012
FTC staff said to formally recommend antitrust lawsuit against Google over FRAND abuse – November 1, 2012
Google U.S. antitrust lawsuit said to be urged by FTC investigators over Internet search, FRAND abuse – October 15, 2012
U.S. FTC investigating Google, Motorola Mobility over FRAND abuse – June 30, 2012
EU launches full-blown investigation of Samsung’s suspected abuse of FRAND-pledged patents; Motorola on notice – January 31, 2012
Apple asked standards body to set rules for essential FRAND patents – February 8, 2012


  1. The standards-setting bodies will be watching this, and other, FRAND-related litigation with great interest. As will every other tech company. You can expect HUGE opposition in future to any proposal by Motorolla and Samsung, in particular, to Incorporate any of their technology in future standards. The EU, but also the US, standard settings bodies will be forced to change their licensing agreements to ensure tech companies cannot abuse FRAND royalties in future, and anti-trust government bodies will, no doubt, already be drawing up legislation to do the same. I would also expect that anti-trust suits will be brought against the FRAND abusers in both Europe and the US before the dust settles on this matter. The long-term implications for Google/Motorolla and Samsung could be quite grim. Reputation may not count for much in the US these days, but European culture is a little more old-fashioned in that respect…

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