Apple FRAND Win Over Motorola, Damaging To Google's Patent Power
A federal judge's ruling in the Apple v Motorola Mobility case has helped to strengthen the argument that parties who own patents that are used by standards bodies must offer them for licensing under "Fair, Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory" terms.
Motorola owns a patent that is involved in the industry standard UMTS 3G. Because it was essential for a smartphone, Motorola was trying to charge a 2.25% royalty from Apple on iOS devices. Apple argued that this charge was excessive, as it would essentially amount to ~$15 per iPhone.
This case has damaged Google, who acquired Motorola Mobility recently, with it being finalized in May. Google stated that the acquisition was mostly patent related, as Motorola, being an early player in the mobile phone arena, owned a lot of essential patents. The company was doing poorly otherwise, losing a lot of money in 2011.
According to AppleInsider.com, other companies have retaliated against Apple, stating that a lot of Apple's patents are now standard features on smartphones, so should also adopt the FRAND approach. This includes things such as multi-touch and scrolling, patents for which Apple is suing Samsung over infringing at the moment. The difference with this and Motorola is clear though: Motorola held a patent that was vital to a industry standard, 3G. Multi-touch isn't as vital.