In the world of patents, there’s something that worries companies in the same field – Standard Essential Patents – they’re what make a lot of products possible, in that they are patents deemed by courts essential for that field of industry. Something like this might be a patent on an LCD display for example, everybody needs to have access to the patent to make smartphone with them in it and so, through licensing the SEPs the industry is able to thrive without a monopoly or something like it forming.
Apple, being the newcomer to the mobile industry, have had to license a lot of technology in order to ship a phone and it just so happens that they don’t like this – why are we not surprised. It’s this dislike that course Apple to file suit with Motorola Mobility last year surrounding what were deemed to be SEPs. Apple assumed that these patents should be licensed under “fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory ” or FRAND. Motorola didn’t feel that this was fair and demanded 2.25 per cent of iPhone net sales in return, which Apple thought was Moto seeking extortionate prices.
The case was scheduled to start today at 1PM central however, a US District Judge deemed to throw the case out of court with prejudice. This makes sure that Apple can only appeal the case, they can’t simply file suit in a different district. Up until recently, the case seemed to be going well for Apple however, once Motorola ordered the court to create tentative licensing deals between the two parties Apple’s legal team showed their greed hand. They were staunch in their position that they would not agree to a deal unless it was no more than $1 per iPhone, something that didn’t impress Motorola, especially when you consider these patents related to network technologies – something pretty key when it comes to phones.
It’s interesting to see that another such case has endured the same outcome but, in the same vein I can’t blame the judge. All this bickering over patents and licensing has gotten a little out of hand and it’s about time that the US Court do something about, even on this level. It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple were to appeal the decision and have the trial go ahead, stay tuned folks.
[Source: Foss Patents]