And you'd like to think that the head of Motorola / MMI might have an inkling of what specific rights are passed through and/or exhausted when it comes to the Motorola-Qualcomm agreement....that Sanjay guy...hey, didn't he used to work at ....oh, never mind.
Its getting more interesting by the lawsuit, but I'm happy Qualcomm is on the sidelines for these adventures! --Ryhack
Apple sues Motorola Mobility over Qualcomm license
By Dan Levine Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:50pm EST
(Reuters) - Apple sued Motorola Mobility in a U.S. court on Friday in an attempt to stop Motorola from asserting some patent claims against Apple in Germany, according to the lawsuit.
The suit, filed in a San Diego federal court, argues that Motorola's German lawsuit against Apple breaches terms of a patent licensing agreement between Motorola and Qualcomm.
Representatives for Apple, Motorola and Qualcomm could not immediately be reached for comment.
Apple and Motorola are engaged in global patent litigation, part of a broader legal fight over the smartphone market with billions of dollars at stake.
In the latest lawsuit, Apple says that as a Qualcomm customer, Apple is a third-party beneficiary of Motorola's agreement with Qualcomm. Under that agreement, Motorola's rights under certain patents are exhausted, Apple argues.
The case in U.S. District Court, Southern District of California is Apple Inc. and Apple Sales International v. Motorola Mobility Inc., 12-cv-355.
Figured it was worth a few bucks for a little reading on a Friday afternoon :-). I speed read it so take it with a grain of salt.
Here is a quote from the complaint.
Qualcomm has informed Apple that Qualcomm has already paid Motorola for the licenses and covenants for Qualcomm and its customers, including Apple.
From what I can gather, Q does have pass-through rights, or at least a non-assert clause for Q's customers. However, there is a "Defensive Suspension" provision. I assume that if Motorola gets sued first by an Apple customer that they can assert this clause.
So the timeline goes like this.
Motorola sues Apple in Oct 2010. Apple countersues a few days later.
Motorola contacts Qualcomm in Jan. 2011 and asserts the Defensive Suspension provision and tries to terminate the pass through rights. Note that Apple wasnt a Qualcomm customer when the first lawsuit was filed.
Qualcomm responds that the provision doesnt apply and that Motorola cant suspend Apple's rights.
In January 2012, Motorola asserts that the iPhone 4S is subject to their existing patent suit in Germany.
Apple demands to see the contract between Q and Motorola.
There are literally no words (at least no family-friendly ones) to describe the insanity that is the ongoing legal war between practically every player in the mobile scene. You can't lay the blame entirely at Cupertino's stoop either -- Motorola, HTC and Samsung all deserve plenty of our ire as well. The tablet and smartphone industry appears to be trying to sue itself out of existence, and Apple's filing today against Motorola Mobility in the US District Court of Southern California is just latest in a long line of legal ploys likely to inspire you to slam your head against a wall. The purveyors of all things i has accused Moto of breaching a licensing contract with Qualcomm by hitting Apple with four patent claims in Germany. In fact, the suit filed in San Diego seeks to prevent Motorola from enforcing its claims in Germany. So, Apple wants an American court to essentially strike down a ruling in a foreign country because a contract was breached that it is not a party in. Confused? We won't lie, we are a little bit too. Check out the source link for a complete copy of the lawsuit.
Where will this all end? Both Apple ( NSDQ: AAPL) and Google ( NSDQ: GOOG) are sitting on billions in cash and seem intent on blowing a good part of it on lawyers.
In the latest installment, Apple today sued Motorola ( NYSE: MMI) Mobility in an attempt to force the Google subsidiary to stop using its patents against Apple in Germany. Or more simply, Apple filed an American lawsuit to stop a German lawsuit. Got that?
This latest ripple in the smartphone sagas grows out of Motorola/Google’s decision to sue Apple over one of its German FRAND patents.
For the uninitiated, FRAND (Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) rules are used when a group of companies decide to create an industry-wide standard. To prevent one company in the industry group using a patent to extort the others, all the companies will agree that any patents related to the standard must be shared at a fair price.
In the Apple case, the FRAND patent at issue relates which to a broadband processor made by Qualcomm ( NSDQ: QCOM) that Apple uses in the iPhone 4S and other devices.
Motorola claimed the Qualcomm chip infringes one its patents and briefly obtained an order to stop Apple from using the chips. That order was suspended and today it appears to have been overturned.
In the action filed today in San Diego, Apple seeks a declaration forbidding Motorola from suing over the Qualcomm patent in Germany. The company also wants to declare that Qualcomm has a license to the Motorola patent in question and that Motorola breached a contract when it sued Apple.